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Convention Center expansion designs debut

Three teams competing for contract

Preliminary concepts for expansion of the Spokane Convention Center will be on display for the public during a community event on Thursday.

Three design and construction teams are competing for a contract to add 91,000 square feet to the Convention Center.

The “community day” meeting will be held on the second floor of the Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Voters a year ago approved a measure to extend tax collections for the expansion as well as the addition of 550 seats to the Veterans Memorial Arena and redevelopment of the Spokane River bank adjacent to the Convention Center.

In January, the Public Facilities District identified three groups competing for the expansion and shoreline work, all involving local businesses. A selection is expected this spring.

PFD officials said the expansion is needed to keep Spokane competitive in the convention business nationally. Improvements will include more exhibit space, meeting rooms and banquet capabilities. The expansion will help consolidate conventions within the newer facility adjacent to the Division Street Bridge.

Taxes being used for the project include a 2 percent room tax and a 0.1 percent sales tax. Those taxes had been scheduled to expire in 2033, but last April voters extended them to 2043.

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