MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - You may notice a big change when you drive through downtown Midland. The old Midland Convention Center is now just a pile of debris.The City of Midland is one step closer to their goal of building a new one.
It took nearly a year after the project was approved to get the Midland Center down. The City of Midland said even though it's bittersweet to see the center sitting in a pile of rubble, they're ready to move on with the project to give the city bigger and better opportunities.
"Our goal is to make this the best Midland it can be," said Executive Vice President of Tourism and Facilities, Brad Barnett.
The project got approved last July and demolition started last month.
"It's really exciting to move forward," said Barnett. "We've been working on this project day in and day out for almost five years just to get an updated Midland Center. Originally, they realized they opened in 1980, by 1983, they realized that's not enough space. So really, in some incarnation this project has been going on for two decades."
The center is funded by visitors that come through Midland, the city hopes the center will attract more visitors. Right now, the city is finalizing new procedures, policies and contracts for events.
"Our goal is the day we open to be 80% booked for that first year," said Barnett. "So as soon as we start construction and have firmed up that time line, we're going to start aggressively getting events booked, some of those will be around the state, national and obviously our local events."
A ground breaking is set for May and construction is scheduled to start shortly after, having the center right on track to open June of 2019.
The city plans to start booking events for the center during the fall. The new center will be able to host three events at once, something they've never been able to do.