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Board proposes hire of Executive Director for Lubbock County Expo Center, construction start date still pending

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 10:04 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Lubbock County Expo Center Local Government Corporation (LGC) Board of Directors began discussion Wednesday about the hire of an Executive Director for the Expo Center.

The desire for someone to be in place during construction prompted questions from the LGC and Lubbock County about when construction would begin.

“We are hard at work securing the private fundraising and exploring financing options for the private portion of the contribution to this project,” Greg Garfield, President of Garfield Public/Private, told the LGC. “We’ve got well over 100 prospects identified on our list and we have some interest that has been expressed by some pretty big companies about participating in the naming rights. So, we’re hopeful that in the June-July timeframe we will be able to have some letters of intent that will validate the assumptions that we made for the naming rights projections.”

Construction will not begin until enough private fundraising is secured for the around $120 million project and bonds are issued by the County.

Matt Edwards, the Senior VP and Project Executive of Garfield Public/Private, briefed the LGC about the status of the development. He expressed optimism that a building permit could be issued by the City of Lubbock in May as construction documents are completed. He said one major approval came from TxDOT for access points to the site off North Loop 289 and North University Avenue.

Terry Holeman of Hugo Reed & Associates, Inc. also presented plans to the LGC for private and public easements on the site, as well as a Playa Reclamation Agreement. The LGC is recommending the Lubbock County Commissioners Court approve the plans.

“Drainage, utilities and access easements are always a normal course of land development,” Holeman said. “What makes this more complicated is it’s Lubbock County rather than just a private developer.”

As those documents and plans move through the process, the LGC is now working to develop a job description for the future Executive Director.

“The idea that someone would be coordinating between us, in addition to Garfield and the construction team, I think becomes a very important role, particularly as it moves forward,” Director Tim Collins told the LGC.

The discussion indicated the desire by the LGC to have the Executive Director work through the construction process and stay on to manage the Expo Center.

The Director of Facilities for Lubbock County, Natalie Harvill, told the LGC there’s also a need to hire an “owner’s representative” to ensure the interests of the County are met during construction. This would be someone separate and possibly under contract. No final decisions were made.

“This needs to be thought through and further discussed so that we are not behind the ball when it comes to getting somebody out there before we start construction,” Harvill said.

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