HICKORY, North Carolina— The Hickory Metro Convention Center in Hickory, North Carolina, will undergo a $14 million expansion that will add about 46,000 square feet to the current building and renovate another 30,000 square feet.
Local officials recently approved plans to expand and renovate the convention center and awarded Hickory Construction Co. the contract for the $14 million project.
“The expansion is another big opportunity that will bring more conferences and events – from larger meetings to public shows to sports tournaments, which will lead to the need for more hotels,” said Bruce Eckard, chair of the Hickory-Conover Tourism Development Authority. “When this next phase is complete, it will bring more visitors to our community, which makes it a win for all.”
Hickory Mayor Hank Guess said the expansion and renovation of the Hickory Metro Convention Center is a major economic development driver in the region and “is key to ensuring that our community continues to build on its solid foundation to ensure the future of our region continues to thrive.”
Once completed, the Hickory Metro Convention Center will boast approximately 165,600 square feet all on one level, with 132,000 usable square feet for meetings and events. There will be approximately 110,000 square feet of interconnected flat-floor exhibit space along with ancillary small meeting rooms and pre-function spaces.
The project will add 46,200 square feet to the facility, including a 35,000-square-foot exhibit hall with 30-foot clear ceiling height and wood flooring. The space can be used for expos, trade shows, conferences and sporting events, with room for eight volleyball courts and four basketball courts.
Crews will also add a second entrance, a new lobby and a 2,500-square-foot area that will highlight the region’s furniture manufacturing history, with restrooms, catering space, outdoor terrace and video display capability. Hallways, lobbies and storage areas account for the remaining square footage.
Renovations to approximately 30,000 square feet of the original building include upgraded finishes, lighting, sound and signage, renovated and expanded restrooms, an extended exterior canopy at the existing North Entry, a new covered walkway connecting the parking deck to the main entrance and an additional small meeting room.
The project will be paid for with money collected from Hickory and Conover’s occupancy tax, and construction is scheduled to be complete in May 2024.
This is the second expansion of the convention center since it opened in 1997. The first expansion was completed in 2005, according to a press release from the convention center.
For more information, visit the Hickory Metro Convention Center website.