News Column

University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond officials visit Weatherford's event center

August 30, 2014

By Diana Baldwin, The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City



Aug. 30--WEATHERFORD -- Edmond city leaders and University of Central Oklahoma officials toured a $24 million event center this week that opened seven months ago on the Southwestern Oklahoma State University campus in Weatherford.

They were interested in the partnership used to pay for the 93,000-square-foot project that ties the football field and basketball court together in the new building that also can be used for banquets and trade shows.

Edmond and UCO officials are in the preliminary stages of discussing a partnership to build a performing arts center. Some said it is a project for the future.

Partnerships are not new to Edmond council members. They just finished the $25.4 millionMitch Park YMCA and competitive swimming pool. The bill was shared by city taxpayers, Edmond Public Schools and the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City.

City and UCO leaders would both like to have a performing arts center.

"The problem is there is no available land from downtown to the university or at Stephenson Park," Mayor Charles Lamb said.

Both locations were suggested in the new revised Downtown Master Plan.

"That is a huge problem," Lamb said. "Churches in the area are building. We're open to working with the university."

The city doesn't have money for a performing arts center. But city leaders have asked the Capital Improvement Task Force to come up with a list of future capital improvement projects, Lamb said.

"This is going to take a lot of conversation," Lamb said. "I don't see this happening right away. You have got to start somewhere."

David Stapleton, University of Central Oklahoma architect, said the performing arts center is a long-range project they are interested in.

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(c)2014 The Oklahoman

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Source: Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City)


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