Within two years, the City of Brownwood will have a new multipurpose event center in the downtown area.
In session Tuesday morning, October 13, the Brownwood City Council voted unanimously to move forward with the development of a multipurpose event center in Downtown Brownwood. According to a presentation from BRW Architects of College Station, Texas, the project will create a new indoor and outdoor event space to host events and conventions, creating a positive economic impact on the local economy.
This redevelopment project will transform the 700 block of E. Baker Street and Lee Street into a new event space.
“This proposal intentionally focuses on preserving and redeveloping Brownwood’s existing buildings. By embracing the rich history of our community, we can expand on existing meeting facilities and increase our competitiveness in Texas’ event market,” said Brownwood Mayor Stephen Haynes.
The event center project is very similar to the Massey Sports Complex project the City constructed with economic development funds. “We created a high-quality sports facility for our residents to enjoy that we also use to host tournaments that bring in thousands of visitors each year,” said Mayor Haynes.
The proposed design by BRW Architects transforms the familiar downtown landmark into a ﬂexible event center that can accommodate a variety of activities. The Ice House provides covered outdoor space, ideal for large concerts or casual gatherings.
The proposed design for the event center retains the former grocery storage facility’s recognizable brick facade. The interior design preserves the building’s original industrial character with a blend of modern features. The event center will accommodate a variety of activities, from large conventions and banquets to intimate weddings and other small gatherings.
The original Ice House is being demolished. The plan calls for a new structure to be built upon the existing foundation. The new structure will be similar in size and provides a permanent stage for outdoor performances. The space will also serve as an overﬂow and outdoor gathering space for activities in the adjacent event center.
Funding for the construction of the project will come entirely from economic development sales tax dollars that have been saved over the past few years. The estimated cost of the entire project is $8,900,000. The City will operate the new facility using existing budget funds. Howard Payne University is working with the City to take over operations of the Coliseum for University and public use.
“The intent to use economic development sales tax for a multipurpose event center beneﬁting the community was one of the primary reasons that Brownwood converted to a Municipal Development District. Today we are excited to officially launch our plans into action,” said Ray Tipton, Executive Director of the Brownwood Municipal Development District.
The project is expected to be completed in 18 to 24 months.