Maxwell Center Grand Opening

Maxwell Center - Grand Opening

Goldsboro News Argus Maxwell Regional Agricultural and Convention Center Grand Opening

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Sunday, February 25, 2018 Goldsboro News-Argus — 7 out the support I would get from the agriculture and agri- business community." Pate started an agriculture advisory committee. It was evident from the start that members of that community were interested in the project, but lacked confidence in it because it had been ongoing for so long, he said. Pate pushed forward and renewed the earlier plan since the county still had some of the $200,000 left. The county asked the state if it would give the land on the Cherry Hospital campus for the center. "They were working with us to do that and (Sen.) Louis Pate was working with us, too," Pate said. "We went ahead and hired an architect, H&H. We had done some surveying, and then it became evident that after finding out what kind of soils we have in Wayne County that the cost of just getting the ground right was an exorbitant amount. "Then we saw we didn't have fiber (optic) out there. We had limited sewer and water. The ingress and egress to the main highway (U.S. 117) was a little bit ... it (area) just wasn't visible." During that time Pate said he had been talking to Goldsboro Mayor Chuck Allen and City Manager Scott Stevens. Pate said he and then-County Manager George Wood met with Allen, Scott and a city councilmen. "That is how we came up with the idea for the agreement that they would give us the property and then we would move forward," he said. Work began as well to get the state legislature to approve an increase in the local hotel occupancy tax, the proceeds of which would help pay for the center's operational costs. The Maxwell family, owners of Goldsboro Milling Co., and others made donations. The Maxwell donation of $750,000 was the largest to secure the naming rights for the facility, Pate said. "We just pursued everything and long story short, we included it (the center) in the bond, and here we are today getting ready to open this up in a couple of weeks," he said. Pate was referring to the April 2017 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. "I think it makes Wayne County and Goldsboro a destination place, I really do," Pate said. "One of the things we found about in terms of keeping our young people here and getting them to come back home after college I think it is quality of life." The county did not have anything of the magnitude of the Maxwell Center to offer shows, music and similar events, he said. The Maxwell Center has a larger city feel, he said. "I think it is going to, in the long term, coming in off of the future Interstate (now the U.S. 70 Bypass), I think it will be a real gateway coming into Goldsboro," Pate said. "I see good things for it." Pate said one farmer told him he always thought the county would eventually have a center, but never thought it would be on the scale of the Maxwell Center. "That made me feel proud that we have accomplished something for the county for the long term because you are not going to build one but about every 50 years or so," he said. R.A JEFFERYS DISTRIBUTING COMPANY IS PLEASED TO WELCOME THE MAXWELL REGIONAL AGRICULTURAL & CONVENTION CENTER TO WAYNE COUNTY 97DCT0218© Continued from Page 6 MAKING THE DREAM A REALITY

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