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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. (Rick Hickman / American Press)<br>

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. (Rick Hickman / 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. (Rick Hickman / American Press)<br>

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. (Rick Hickman / American Press)

West Cal Events Center construction moving forward

Last Modified: Friday, January 04, 2013 7:52 PM

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.

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