02/11/04 — Civic center planning progresses

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Civic center planning progresses

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on February 11, 2004 2:04 PM

Wayne County and Goldsboro officials were to meet today with a consultant to discuss the next step in the civic center process.

Design Strategies of Greenville, S.C., was hired by the city in September and has spent the last few months trying to pin down exactly what citizens, civic leaders and officials want.

The firm discovered that a top priority for a Wayne County civic or convention center would be to provide meeting spaces for businesses, trade shows and other events. The cost is estimated to be $10 million to $15 million.

The building should be around 85,000 square feet and should consist of a banquet room, an exhibition hall and about 10 rooms for meetings, the firm said.

A committee has visited two civic centers, and the general consensus was that the Anderson, S.C., complex was more appropriate, City Manager Richard Slozak said.

Ken Betsch, a partner in Design Strategies, has identified several questions based on the tour that the committee will need to address.

Some of the questions include size of the kitchen, whether a smaller exhibition hall and a bigger ballroom is desired, or whether there is a need for locker rooms.

"It's things of that nature," Slozak said. "The issue of quality.

Slozak said the committee would look at cost estimates and time schedules after those questions were addressed. Then the City Council and county commissioners plan to go to Anderson to see its civic center.

He said that during the next trip to Anderson he hoped the officials could meet with commissioners there to find out the economic effect their civic center has had on the community.

Another topic that was to be defined during today's meeting is the roles of area leaders in the civic center.

"I think we'll know what direction we want to go in after this meeting," Slozak said.