The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

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June 12, 2013

New 74,000-square-foot Enid Event Center is opened for public viewing

ENID, Okla. — After nearly three years of work, Enid Event Center opened to the public Wednesday “on time and on budget,” said City Manager Eric Benson.

PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Click here for photos of Grand opening of Enid Event Center

Benson told the approximately 200 people who attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony — among them former commissioners — that construction took courageous leadership by former commissioners and mayors.

During his remarks, Benson recognized a number of people who worked toward the goal of completing the project successfully. He singled out former city commissioners Don Rose, Drew Ritchie and Todd Ging for heading up the committee that worked on the project.

“We set out to transform the face of the city of Enid and we sought a first-class effort,” Benson said.

Benson said the city “reached out” to Global Spectrum, which manages the facilities and became a partner in the construction process. He recognized Frank Russo, representing Global Spectrum, and Convergence Design’s David Greusel, who briefly spoke. Benson also recognized general contractor Key Construction and Carter Construction of Atlanta.

For the opening of the 74,000-square-foot facility, Tania Warnock sang an original song about Enid, plus artists from Cirque Musica performed. Cirque Musica will perform June 27 at Enid Event Center.

Enid Event Center cost $18 million to construct and is the centerpiece of the $34 million Enid Renaissance Project, which also included renovation of Convention Hall and other projects. The building is configured so it can accommodate everything from sporting events to concerts and trade shows.

Under the basketball configuration, the center features 3,200 seats. For concerts, the seating capacity is 3,800, and for trade shows, the configuration includes 192 10-by-10-foot booths with additional space in the concourse. There is banquet space for 2,000.

The center also is equipped with two loading docks, one full roll-up entry, four locker rooms and a green room for entertainers.

“They say you can’t have your cake and eat it too, but you guys have done that,” Russo said.

Greusel said the building was designed to look like part of downtown, and he hopes people feel that it is.

Inside the building, Greusel liked the way his design looks.

“It’s great to see a design completed. This is what architects live for,” Greusel said.

Lisa Powell called the building beautiful.

“It’s very clean, simple and functional,” Powell said.

Ritchie, who was part of the three-commissioner team that initially worked on the project, said he was speechless.

“As I talked to some people, I struggled not to be emotional,” he said. “Simply put, it’s amazing.”

Enid Event Center and Convention Hall projects were not without opposition, but Ritchie said seeing the finished product made it all worthwhile.

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