Inspire Amarillo gives details on ‘The Amarillo Plan’, a new strategy to renovate the Amarillo Civic Center

Updated: Dec. 18, 2020 at 11:06 AM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Fairly Group CEO Alex Fairly and former Amarillo mayor Jerry Hodge joined The Chat this morning to discuss a new plan for the Amarillo Civic Center.

A $275 million bond to renovate the existing venue was rejected by area voters last month, and plans to update the facility continue.

Inspire Amarillo, a lobbying group, has created a plan to renovate the venue for less than the cost of the previous plan, Proposition A, which was turned down by voters.

The project is being referred to as the ‘Amarillo Plan’, and though it is estimated to cost significantly less than proposition A, it would still incur a 15.9% city property tax increase.

“We hired some of the most experienced folks in the country who know buildings of this type and size and asked them to begin working with us,” said Fairly. “I go find smart people who know what they are doing and ask them to help me.”

The plan would cost $110 to $115 million, compared with Proposition A’s price tag of $275 million.

“Mainly, it includes the arena and has some remodel to the old coliseum,” said Hodge.

Proposition A included more extensive renovations and construction when compared with The Amarillo Plan.

Fairly said these additional pieces is the reason for a price disparity between the plans. Although Inspire Amarillo’s plan mainly considers the new arena, it still results in cost savings when compared to Proposition A.

Fairly said the money set aside for the arena in Proposition A amounted to $155 million. The Amarillo Plan estimates the arena would cost $110 million, resulting in a cost savings of $40 million.

“It delivers 50,000 square feet of new continuous exhibition space, so it helps address the exhibition issue even though the rest of Prop A would have to be done down the road,” said Fairly. “The reason we thought about doing it in pieces was so Amarillo could take it step by step.”

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