Committee shares first glimpse of the proposed Borger Multipurpose Event Center

There's no guarantee that the final design of the Borger Multipurpose Event Center will match this early drawing, but it nevertheless offers insight into what might be possible as the project moves forward.
Alex Mann
Managing Editor

After literally years in the making, the Borger Multipurpose Event Center Committee [BMECC] has released the first clues into what the facility may look like after the Borger City Council recently allocated $1.5 million in seed money to get the project off the ground. Moving forward, the committee will soon begin searching for the remaining funds which will make the event center a reality, but in the meantime representatives were able to share early details, and invite residents to the next event center committee meeting on January 21 at noon, held at Borger's Chamber of Commerce.

Though the event center has been a distant dream for many years, the BMECC has made productive use of their time by making contacts and drawing up numerous preliminary plans for the facility. “We actually have gotten a contractor who would build the facility... and we have the drawings done.” Patty Kasch with the BMECC says, but she explains that even the committee itself was a challenge to put together. “We had to form a committee, and we had to go to every agency; the BEDC, the Chamber, and all of that.” She explains, “We asked each of them if they would give us one person to be on the committee, and that way all the agencies of the county were covered. We had a representative from everything, from the city, the county, the EDC, and the Chamber.”

However fundraising became increasingly difficult as most grants and major donors were reluctant to contribute without any seed money in place, which led the committee to the Borger City Council seeking funds which would encourage others to invest. “We took it to the city, and said that we had exhausted our means of fundraising, and we did that about last October.” Patty says, “We asked if there was any way the city could get us some seed money... we asked for $2 million, and they bumped us down to a million and a half, which is fine, we're grateful to get that. That gives us the seed money we need to go to the Amarillo Area Foundation and get them to help us write grants.”

According to Patty the committee will begin seeking donations and contributions almost immediately, but needs to raise roughly $5 million in contributions before the center can be constructed. Meanwhile, once certain contribution benchmarks are met, Patty explains that the group can begin more detailed plans. “We're going to start our capital campaign, which will start in January. That way we can get started raising these funds.” She says, “Once we get to a certain percentage of the funds, we will move on to the next step of getting architectural drawings and all that. Our first step is to kick off the campaign, and the Amarillo Area Foundation will be helping us do that.”

For now, the preliminary drawings offer an early glimpse into what the facility may look like some day, but Patty says there is still plenty of room for input, changes and design modifications. Meanwhile the BMECC is committed to hearing citizen feedback in determining what facilities are ultimately included in the final layout, whether they're sports facilities, rodeo arenas, concert halls, or all of the above. “The final layout can be all of those in the same building, we just have three different layouts.” Patty says, explaining how the preliminary plans are already expected to cover a wide range of events, “Lets say you want to rent the building for the weekend for a basketball tournament, they come in and pack the ground so hard that you can play basketball on it, at the same time you can have a banquet hall to have an Altrusa flea market, and also have a chili cook off out back. If you want to do a concert, you could do that the same way. Pack the dirt so you can dance on it in the arena hall, and you could still have a wedding in the banquet hall.” The committees goal seems to be ensuring that the “multipurpose” event center is truly capable of serving multiple purposes, and as fundraising and planing continues, residents across the area are encouraged to lend their own expertise, advice, and feedback to the project which may help to change the face of Borger.