Looking to boost tourism and improve venues for public events, Brownwood Municipal Development District board members agreed Tuesday to hire an architectural firm to perform a feasibility study for “outdoor civic gatherings” and assessments of city facilities including the 55-year-old Brownwood Coliseum.
The board’s action in commissioning the $49,600 study by Brown Reynolds Watford (BRW) Architects of Dallas will go before the Brownwood City Council for ratification.
The municipal development district (BMDD) board voted to hire BRW after a joint workshop with the Brownwood City Council. Members of both groups agreed there will have to be a decision made on whether to rehabilitate existing facilities or build new ones.
Mayor Stephen Haynes said one of the factors in the 2016 election to convert from an economic development corporation to a municipal development district was the ability to spend money on event centers.
Haynes said city and BMDD officials toured facilities in other communities including Midland, Granbury, Cleburne, Brazos County, Glen Rose, Belton and Bell County.
“To me it all kind of revolves around the coliseum, because if we go build an alternate facility somewhere, what purpose does the coliseum have?”
Haynes said options would include “rehabbing the coliseum, making it functional again, and then expanding around the coliseum.”
According to a BRW professional services proposal, the study will include:
• Brownwood Coliseum — analysis of deficiencies relating to the function, aesthetics and maintenance as well as the health, safety and welfare of building users. BRW will also analyze areas including code compliance, rest rooms, parking lots, acoustics, lighting and mechanics systems.
BRW will propose three solutions of varying costs to update the building.
• Cold storage warehouse building on East Baker, usually referred to as the ice house. BRW will analyze numerous areas including the possibility of opening up the facade and adding back the windows that were once there.
• Outdoor civic gathering area including performance stage — the area between the Depot and coliseum. BRW, working with the city, will develop a plan for a new “event space and gather area.”
• Adams Street Community Center — analysis will identify deficiencies and focus on structural integrity including the foundation.
“If we don’t dream a little bit and get some ideas, nothing will happen,” Haynes said.