Meeting Set On Event Center
A public meeting for the proposed Britton Event Center will be held next week Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. at Amacher Auditorium at the Britton-Hecla School.
Coop Architects of Aberdeen will be facilitating the meeting.
Drawings and 3-D computer models will be available for the proposed structure. Planning committee members will also be seeking public input and comments, and a question and answer session is planned.
About two years ago potential donors for the project approached the Britton- Hecla School and indicated they would be willing to give a substantial amount of money to replace the Kidder Gym, which had been used only for storage and a football changing room in recent years.
The donors were willing to come up with about $1.5 million if area residents could come up with another $750,000 to $1 million for the multi-purpose event center at Hugh Schilling Field, and they imposed an Aug. 1 deadline to see that the community backed the project.
Approval was given by the Britton-Hecla Board of Education to demolish the Kidder Gym, which was completed in July. A fundraiser at the Britton Country Club also raised over $20,000 for the project.
In addition, a capital campaign, headed by the planning committee, came up with significant donations from area contributors. That community interest was sufficient for the donors to give the green light to go ahead with the project.
A volunteer planning committee has been working since that time to develop plans for the building. The group emphasized that the proposed project is not linked to any specific entity, but is viewed as a community project.
Originally planned to replace the Kidder Gym at the south end of Hugh Schilling Field, tentative plans are now to build the structure on the northwest side of the football/track field. Earlier this year the City Council did not voice any objections to vacating a portion of Twelfth Avenue just west of Hugh Schilling Field to make room for the building.
Committee members stressed that they are looking for community input at next week’s meeting.
“We have worked hard to involve anyone and everyone up to this point,” said planning committee members. “Our main goal is to try and hear anything or anyone we may have missed. We are open to hearing whatever is out there.”
Committee members are happy with the current design but want to present it to the community for others to see and give comments. Any opinions on the proposed location of the event center are also welcome.
The planning committee recognizes that there are a variety of opinions among residents about the proposed event center, but it stressed there is just one goal.
“We are a group of volunteers progressively looking to service future needs of the community,” concluded committee members. “We are fortunate beyond recognition for the generosity of donors in replacing the Kidder Gym with a multi-use facility, and this kind of progressive-minded effort is what makes us different from many other small towns.”