The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 5, 2011

Woodward’s carving a niche

City officials say coming conference center will have ‘tremendous impact’By Cass Rains Staff Writer WOODWARD — After more than a decade of identifying a need in Woodward for a conference center and meeting place, construction is under way on a state-of-the-art facility. “In the process of strategic planning we identified this need in 2000,” said Woodward City Manager Alan Riffle. The $7 million and more than 29,000-square-foot facility will accommodate about 650 people in a round-table event, 1,200 in lecture-type seating, 110 booth spaces and 75 people in the three training rooms, acting as a hub for multi-purpose conference and education facilitating. “We have need for large gathering spaces, for larger facilities than we already have,” Riffle said. “We don’t have a central facility of this type. Budding tourism and expansion of wind energy throughout northwest Oklahoma has created a need in Woodward for space to be used for conferences, conventions and training events, among other venues, Riffle said. “You don’t want to have things like these in county fair buildings and scattered gathering spaces we have here,” he said. “Our strategic planning identified those needs for that type of space multiple times throughout the year. “We’re confident we can attract a number of visitors here for conference and convention needs.” Riffle said building the conference center will have a positive impact upon the Woodward and the area economy. “It’s going to have impacts in the way of creating new services, convention services, catering services and a new hotel development,” Riffle said, noting the facility would also allow space for special events. “It has a tremendous impact.” Riffle said the Conference Center also will house the city’s Tourism Bureau. “Tourism in Oklahoma is an industry,” Riffle said, “and we certainly want to carve our niche into that.” Timberlake Construction of Oklahoma City is building the center, which was designed by Studio Architecture, also of Oklahoma City. With a 14-month completion date, Riffle said construction officials are expecting Woodward’s conference center to be completed sometime next spring, barring too many bad weather delays throughout the coming months.

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

WOODWARD — After more than a decade of identifying a need in Woodward for a conference center and meeting place, construction is under way on a state-of-the-art facility.

“In the process of strategic planning we identified this need in 2000,” said Woodward City Manager Alan Riffle.

The $7 million and more than 29,000-square-foot facility will accommodate about 650 people in a round-table event, 1,200 in lecture-type seating, 110 booth spaces and 75 people in the three training rooms, acting as a hub for multi-purpose conference and education facilitating.

“We have need for large gathering spaces, for larger facilities than we already have,” Riffle said. “We don’t have a central facility of this type.

Budding tourism and expansion of wind energy throughout northwest Oklahoma has created a need in Woodward for space to be used for conferences, conventions and training events, among other venues, Riffle said.

“You don’t want to have things like these in county fair buildings and scattered gathering spaces we have here,” he said. “Our strategic planning identified those needs for that type of space multiple times throughout the year.

“We’re confident we can attract a number of visitors here for conference and convention needs.”

Riffle said building the conference center will have a positive impact upon the Woodward and the area economy.

“It’s going to have impacts in the way of creating new services, convention services, catering services and a new hotel development,” Riffle said, noting the facility would also allow space for special events. “It has a tremendous impact.”

Riffle said the Conference Center also will house the city’s Tourism Bureau.

“Tourism in Oklahoma is an industry,” Riffle said, “and we certainly want to carve our niche into that.”

Timberlake Construction of Oklahoma City is building the center, which was designed by Studio Architecture, also of Oklahoma City.

With a 14-month completion date, Riffle said construction officials are expecting Woodward’s conference center to be completed sometime next spring, barring too many bad weather delays throughout the coming months.