The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

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November 17, 2012

Enid’s ‘grand old lady’

(Continued)

ENID, Okla. — Looking to the future

Today, everyone is welcome to tour the “new” Convention Hall. Following a 1:30 p.m. veterans parade, the community open house will be 2-5 p.m. It will include tours of the building, food and drinks, family activities and performances on the Grand Ballroom stage.

“The facility will be set up in various configurations to show the flexibility of the rooms and their ability to host everything from holiday parties to birthday parties and retirement gatherings,” said Keller Taylor, general manager of the facilities.

“The original integrity of many of the rooms was saved by the hard work of the general contractor of the project W.L. McNatt, and a commitment from the city to preserve the beauty of this historic structure,” Taylor said.

Former City Manager Tom Sailors recalls the building that formerly housed his office. Sailors has been through the building a number of times since construction started and said he is thrilled.

“It’s really gorgeous. It’s functional for the community. I’m very happy with it,” Sailors said.

Sailors moved to Enid when he was 11 or 12 years old, and walked across the Convention Hall stage to receive his high school diploma. He went to work there for the city of Enid in 1962, and worked there until Enid built the current city offices in 1970.

Sailors agrees with Janzen Convention Hall will be used more frequently than Enid Event Center, because of its versatility. While there will be no athletic uses, all of the community functions that normally are held in Cherokee Strip Conference Center will move to Convention Hall. In addition, it will be used in conjunction with events held at Enid Event Center, for trade shows and other uses.

“It’s a multi-use facility in many respects,” he said. “People will be really surprised at what has been done. We’re thankful so many people made the effort, and we are thrilled we are able to keep it. It’s a grand old lady.”

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