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Voters to decide fate of expansion and renovation of Civic Center in May


Amarillo voters will now have their say concerning the proposed expansion and renovation of the Amarillo Civic Center.

On February 11, 2020, the Amarillo City Council approved the May 2020 ballot measure for a $279 million bond to fund a new, modern and state-of-the-art Amarillo Civic Center Complex designed to meet the demands of a changing and evolving entertainment market.

“The general obligation bonds will go to the voters and there will be one proposition - for the Civic Center expansion and renovation project," Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer Michelle Bonner said.

The total project cost is $319 million. The proposed project will include renovation and expansion of the civic center, including the addition of a 75,000 sq ft exhibit hall, the addition of a new 10,100 seat arena, renovation of the historic Santa Fe Depot, creation of a large central plaza (park), and relocation of City Hall with an additional parking structure.

Here is a brief breakdown of the costs associated with this proposal:

New arena - $155 million

Convention Center expansion / renovation - $117.5 million

City services relocation - $20 million

Parking garage - $15 million

Santa Fe Depot restoration - $8 million

Central Plaza (Park) - $3.5 million

City officials have stated the total impact to taxpayers is a 15-cent increase to the property tax rate. The city would use Certificates of Obligation to fund the relocation of City Hall.

“The Certificate of Obligation is still property tax supported, but council has the authority to issue those bonds. If the election is successful, we’ve talked about we need to move City Hall. That money would be used to help secure and renovate a spot for City Hall.

“What we would recommend, upon voter approval, is to go ahead and issue the Certificates of Obligation, because City Hall needs to take place first," Bonner said.

RECOMMENDED CONCEPT PLAN

Amarillo has a Recommended Concept Plan (RCP) for a new ACCC. The RCP combines the past with the present – and the future. The RCP includes a timeline that allows for current scheduled events to continue during construction/renovation of new ACCC facilities. For example, the RCP includes a new exhibit hall on vacant land, and also allows for regular events at Cal Farley Coliseum (CFC) to continue.

THE NUMBERS

The new ACCC arena would seat a maximum of 10,100 people. Inside, the arena will have a steel height of 60’+. These two primary, modern features will greatly increase Amarillo’s chances of landing major shows and entertainers. The ACCC will also have a new 75,000 square-foot exhibit hall and expanded 30,000 square-foot ballroom. There will be modern dressing/locker rooms and modern concession/restroom facilities.

SPACE MATTERS

The new ACCC would have distinct and separate areas for loading zones. For example, new exhibit hall loading docks will accommodate eight trucks – and these locations will be separate from public areas.

PARKING

The new ACCC would include a new multi-level parking deck.

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