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$55 million expansion of Spokane Convention Center begins

Photos courtesy Visit Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. — The convention center that opened in 2006 in Spokane wasn’t quite what the city had wanted, but because of a tight budget, Spokane built what it could with the understanding that the hammer and nails would come back out as soon as it was financially feasible.

That time has arrived. In late July, ground was broken on a $55 million project that will add 91,000 square feet of space to the convention center during its “expansion and completion.”

The project should wrap up in December 2014, and the space it adds will allow the center to attract larger conventions and to handle several meetings at once. Last year, voters approved an extension of a sales-use tax that will fund the project.

The addition will also allow the convention center to take better advantage of its site along the Spokane River, which flows through downtown.

Spokane Public Facilities District CEO Kevin Twohig told local media that the center will be close enough to the river that “people can come out of their meetings, come out of their exhibit shows and be able to experience what we all can every day: the Centennial Trail and the Spokane River.”

“This is a great step for the convention center and the Spokane region,” said Cheryl Kilday, president and CEO of Visit Spokane. “The completion expands the exhibit hall and new meeting rooms in a highly functional and flexible facility while capturing vistas of the Spokane River gorge.”

The added space includes a junior ballroom, more exhibit space and 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

The expanded center is being built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.