Maxwell Center Grand Opening

Maxwell Center - Grand Opening

Goldsboro News Argus Maxwell Regional Agricultural and Convention Center Grand Opening

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12 — Goldsboro News-Argus Sunday, February 25, 2018 center into a reality. As part of the deal, Goldsboro gave the county 12 of the 18 acres it owns on Wayne Memorial Drive for the agricultural center, which would serve a dual purpose as a convention center. The city kept the other six acres to encourage development of a hotel. The agreement was subject to state legislators approving an increase in the city's occupancy tax. After some false starts, that approval came in September 2015. Commissioners awarded the design contract for the center to HH Architecture of Raleigh in December 2015. The company had designed the initial 35 percent of the center plans. In February 2016, the county selected T.A. Loving Co. of Goldsboro as construction manager at risk for the project. Also that month, the Maxwell family's Goldsboro Milling Co. made a $750,000 donation to secure naming rights for the Maxwell Regional Agricultural and Convention Center. Speaking on behalf of the Maxwell family, John Pike thanked commissioners and the Goldsboro City Council for coming together to make the center project a reality. "We are honored, but we are very excited at the same time," Pike said. "I think there are some great opportunities, not just to honor folks but to bring people together. I think there are going to be some aspects of this project that will come out later in the realm of maybe agriculture education that we are very excited about. "The other thing that we are so excited about is that 2016 is a special year for Goldsboro Milling Co. It marks our 100th year anniversary. That is something to be excited about. Again, the main message this morning is to thank all of you all and the city for coming together and make this thing happen and letting us be a part of it, and we are very grateful for that." Groundbreaking for the now $18 million Maxwell Regional Agricultural and Convention Center was held in July 2016. The ceremony included an announcement that the project would receive $1.5 million from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. In September 2016, Tri-County Electric Membership Corp. in Dudley was awarded a $1 million zero-interest federal loan that it in turn loaned to Wayne County to help with construction of the Maxwell Center. The 10-year loan to Tri-County is through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program. The following month, commissioners authorized then- County Manager George Wood to begin the search and to hire a director for the center. James B. Wade Jr. was hired as the director for the Maxwell Center in May 2017. Wade has launched and operated four new facility openings — Owensboro Convention Center in Owensboro, Kentucky; KFC Yum Center in Louisville, Kentucky; The Corbin Arena in Corbin, Kentucky; and Eastern Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville, Kentucky. Commissioners approved Wade's ideas for branding for the center during their first meeting in August 2017. It was decided to refer to it as the Maxwell Center instead of the longer, full name. The logo was developed by Jose Perez in the county's IT department. The tag line is "Take it to the Max." In March 2007, the board approved the issuance of $42 million in bonds that included $20 million for a new Meadow Lane Elementary School and a wing to house Edgewood Community Developmental School, and $12,042,604 for the Maxwell Center. The bonds were issued that April. To help raise funds for the center, the county began taking orders for brick pavers in November 2017. The pavers are available for order at www.FundRaisingBrick.com/MaxwellCenter. The Maxwell Center's four-day grand opening celebration will start with a 9 a.m. ribbon cutting on March 1 followed by the opening of Ag Expo, the center's first event. BUILDING THE MAXWELL CENTER Continued from Page 11 Officials take a tour of the in-construction Maxwell Regional Agricultural and Convention Center as a contractor describes the work in process.

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