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Civic Center expansion on schedule
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The $9.2 million McMinnville Civic Center renovation is getting in shape with two new steel structures being added to the facility.

Two-story structures on two sides of the building are in place. Butch Higgins, construction superintendent, says the next step is pouring concrete on the top and bottom levels. That work is scheduled to be complete by Monday, Oct. 14.

The total amount of square footage being added is 24,000 square feet, creating a little over 75,000 square feet, compared to the previous 51,000 square feet. The added steel structures should be fully complete by spring of 2020.

“The project is going fair,” says Higgins. “The weather has helped a lot regarding what we’ve been able to do.”

Many new activity rooms to be added to the Civic Center are in the works, including a room for two enclosed racquetball courts, a kids room, an indoor tennis court which can also be used for indoor soccer, more office space located upstairs, three basketball courts, and a volleyball court. 

Around 20 to 25 contractors or Sain Construction crew members are working on the building five days a week. The expected date for the renovation to be finished is Aug. 18, 2020.

“Everything is still on schedule,” said Parks and Recreation director Scott McCord.

The Wellness Center will be expanding into the left side of the new steel structure to add more space and new gym equipment. The additional space will lessen overcrowding. A free weight room will be separated from the rest of the Wellness Center by a glass panel.

The Wellness Center will have its own shower area. Space for a kids room has been built where a glass pane will separate the children from the exercise equipment. This will allow parents and children to see one another while being in separate rooms.

The other bottom-floor expansion area can be used as a banquet hall. Dividers can separate the space into three different areas to be used as classrooms or community rooms. A small kitchen and family restrooms are being added.

“The Civic Center will be wide open and we’ll have the ability to offer all kinds of classes,” said McCord. “In previous years, we only had those three or four rooms, and if aerobics was going on, we couldn’t provide anything else. Hopefully, we can now have language, cooking, computer and pottery classes held in the old aerobics room.”

An elevator shaft is being added. The elevator, larger doors, larger entrances into the bathrooms and easier accessibility to allow people to reach the second floor will make the Civic Center ADA compliant. 

McCord says one of the biggest complaints received during the Warren County Arts & Crafts Fair was that people couldn’t enjoy the vendors on the second floor if they were unable to climb stairs.

The new flooring on the main basketball court will be one of the last things completed since the room is being used as the primary meeting space to hold equipment and supplies during construction. New bleachers will be on all four sides with the ability to seat 1,200 people. A curtain can be dropped down the middle of the court to create separate areas allowing two games to take place at the same time.

Another addition to the upstairs is a boxing room and spin classroom. There will be a true walking trail around the upstairs. 

“It should be an eye-opening experience and we are excited about it,” said McCord.