MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - After a little over 30 years, the Midland Center is getting a makeover after the building is demolished toward the end of the year.
"We're excited we're moving forward, we just want to open with a bang," said Brad Barnett, Executive Vice President of Tourism and Facilities.
The building that was constructed in 1978 and opened in 1980. Three years after it opened, the city realized that this convention center might need a little more space. Now, it's one step closer to getting an even bigger and better downtown Midland experience.
"You start dreaming to here's what we need, so our approach this time is what is the minimum space we need, combined to what is the budget we can afford to do," said Barnett.
Some of the improvements you might see are a new exhibit hall, growing from 12,500 square feet to 20,000 square feet. The building will include new meeting space, even a ballroom for big events.
"Basically the new center will open directly onto the plaza," said Barnett. "The plaza will be a front porch."
The project will run just under $43 million with construction costs close to $33 million. The money comes from Hotel Occupancy Tax which under state law, must be spent on tourism related projects rather than other jobs or roadwork.
"With a bigger facility, we can fill up more hotel rooms, it makes our hotels happier and our job is to promote tourism," said Barnett.
Demolition will start the first week of December and the project is estimated to be completed by Sept. 2018.
The Convention Center Staff is open to suggestions and feedback from the community. To contact and keep up with the project, you can check out their website here for up to date renderings and timelines.
"As a chamber, we want to create the best business climate on the planet here in Midland. We see that as a huge positive," said Barnett.