West Cal Events Center construction moving forward

By By Natalie Stewart / American Press

Steel beams have been put into place and the construction on the West Cal Events Center is moving forward, West Cal Arena’s

executive director said.

Adrian Moreno said steel beams were erected about two weeks ago and ground work continues on the $9.5 million project, which

is located immediately north of the West Cal Arena.

“The construction is a lengthy process

and unfortunately right now it’s in a slow time with ground work still

being done and

having to work around Mother Nature,” he said. “We are still

confident that it will be complete by our target date though.”

Moreno said the project is expected to be complete by spring 2014.

“The weather hasn’t been cooperating

too much over the past few weeks so we are a little behind, but we are

still moving forward,”

he said. “The exact date for completion depends on how many

lengthy delays we have throughout the construction process.”

The West Calcasieu Parish Community Center Authority, which is funded by hotel and motel taxes, is funding the project through

a $7.8 million bond from its reserves, $500,000 in capital outlay grants, and $5 million in state grants.

The 46,000-square foot events center will house a 14,000-square-foot events room, which will seat 1,400 people.

Moreno said the possibilities for how the facility can be used are “endless.”

“This will provide a venue for both

local utilization and outside groups for various functions,” he said.

“With the design

of the building it can be used for anything from attracting small

regional shows, arts and crafts shows and different things

like that.”

He said the facility will also be available to private parties, weddings, proms, and Mardi Gras balls.

“We anticipate that we will be pretty booked up once it’s complete,” Moreno said.