Event center proposal faces land issue

By Leslie Radford: CNJ Staff writer

A new proposal for an events center at the Curry County Fairgrounds is awaiting a resolution of a land issue before being sent to the County Commission for approval.

The plan calls for an enclosed 75,000-square foot metal building that could seat 3,500 to be built on the north side of the rodeo arena. But the county needs to obtain permission to use 40 to 60 feet of city land for the project.

County Manager Dick Smith said the events committee met with an architect and engineer last week to discuss options that would fit the county’s budget, which is an estimated $3.7 million.

Architect James C. Lewis of Schlegel Lewis Architects of Albuquerque said an alternative to resolving the land issue would be to rotate the building 90 degrees and push it further south.

“We’re still in the preliminary stages,” Lewis said.

County Commissioner and president of the events center committee Pete Hulder said the project has undergone several revisions in the last few years. He said the new plan will cost less than trying to cover the existing rodeo arena. However, he said, the new events center will not replace Mounted Patrol Arena.

“We will have an indoor arena and an outdoor arena,” Hulder said.

The primary purpose of the indoor facility is an equestrian events center, but may be used as a venue for other entertainment, family reunions and product shows.