ABILENE, Texas (Press Release) – In October of 2018, the BMDD approved funding for and the City engaged in a comprehensive facilities study through BRW Architects, Inc. to develop a proposal and concepts for community facilities re-development.
After spending several months reviewing this study and deciding on a direction of the potential project, the City has pared the initial project down to improvements to the Brownwood Coliseum, re-development of the Timmins building as an event center and re- development of the old ice house building into an outdoor event and concert stage venue.
City of Brownwood and Brownwood Municipal Development District approve next step on possible mixed-use community event space.
The next phase of this project is to have schematic designs developed for these facilities to better determine the project scope and costs. The schematic designs will be the first step in the actual project design and will give the City and BMDD an opportunity to better determine what the needs will be of each part of the project.
The overall goal of the project would be to offer the community more quality meeting/event spaces, create new space for meetings and events that have a positive economic impact through tourism, and help in the development of new community events and activities. This will also help to further enhance Downtown re-development.
The cost of schematic design for these projects will be $152,000 as outlined in the contract presented by BRW which will be funded by the BMDD. It will take about 6 weeks for BRW to deliver the first draft of the designs.
Part of the pitch to the community to convert the Economic Development Corporation to a Municipal Development District (MDD) back in 2016 was to allow the use of funds for a Convention/Event Center project. Any project adopted as a result of this feasibility study & schematic design agreement would be primarily funded through the BMDD reserve funds.
The Brownwood Coliseum with its unique design has been a landmark building for the City of Brownwood for over 50 years. Located on the east side of the City of Brownwood, at East Baker Street and Hawkins Street, the Coliseum is anchored by its close proximity to the Rail Road which has played a key role in its growth and history. The Coliseum is a large stadium and event space with seating for 2,961 spectators. It was built in the early 60’s and dedicated in 1963.
The renovation to the Coliseum would include:
- New HVAC
- Ceiling repairs
- Replacing single pane glass
- Minor Rest-room updates
- Minor Parking and Landscape improvements
The unique architectural character of the Timmins building, the location, and the fact that it is owned by the City of Brownwood align this building with the goals of this study. The preliminary evaluation of the structure indicated the building is sound structurally. The exterior features demonstrate an inherent beauty that is considered attractive which will lend to the success of this space. Upon entering the Timmins building, the soaring ceilings and the structure elicit an excitement which will extend to any event that takes place here. The building offers smaller gathering areas, open gathering spaces, formal and casual event dining, and the potential for a second-floor intimate gathering space.
The renovation to the Timmins Building would include:
- Cleaning of the exterior brick
- Replacing existing windows with energy efficient glass
- Removing the brick in the locations where windows once were and putting in new windows
- Renovating the first floor of the interior to include a large multipurpose room, a bar, a warming kitchen, restrooms, storage, and a meeting room.
- Renovating the second floor to have a bar and lounge area.
- Dressed-up Finishes
- Banquet Seating for 512
The ice house has long stood unused. The proximity to the open lawns of the RV park and the Timmins building further accentuate the developing corridor between the coliseum and the train depot. The elevated foundations, with the demolition of the structure above, will create an ideal stage for outdoor performances. Providing a stage cover, support spaces, including storage and public restrooms complete the venue for local groups and visiting performers. The open lawn of the RV park provides plenty of room for families to picnic, children to play and with the power from the RV hook ups, food and venders to provide amenities.
The potential for the Ice House would include:
- Demolition of the existing structure
- Keeping the existing slab
- Removing excess slab
- Adding a pavilion with high-end finishes
- Placing large fans under the pavilion for air circulation
- Adding a large sliding door to reflect sound, create the possibility for separation of events, and pay homage to the historical significance of the railroad in Brownwood
- Creating public restrooms, storage for electrical equipment and general use
The large grass field in front of the Ice house:
- Occupancy for 7,500 people in the event of outdoor concerts
- Hookups for RV’s or food trucks
- Modular-removable metal fence for attendance control
- Can be utilized for concerts held at the Ice House, outdoor trade shows or vendors, farmer’s markets, and flexible outdoor events