SIOUX CITY — Sioux City officials have approved nearly $15 million for a new expo center with 80,000 square feet of exposition space they hope will attract events to the city, including trade shows and youth sports tournaments.
The city council awarded the contract to L&L Builders Monday for the Siouxland Expo Center project, the Sioux City Journal reported. The contract bid was more than $2 million higher than initial projections.
Dirk Lohry, the center’s board president, said it’s not shocking that the bid exceeded the original estimates.
“I still think that’s within the range of accuracy of any type of construction estimate for a project of this size,” he said. “We have to realize we’re in a growing robust economy. Contractors are busy. Wages are going up. Materials are more expensive.”
The multifunctional venue will be constructed on a plot of land near Interstate 29 and the Floyd River channel. The city will oversee the building once construction is finished.
The center is part of the downtown Sioux City Reinvestment District, which includes three other projects that developers say could generate a total $13.5 million in hotel and sales taxes.
The city Parks and Recreation Department is presently located in the Long Lines Family Rec Center, but it will relocate its offices and activities to the Expo Center.
Organizers must “work very hard” on fundraising due to the rising construction expenses, Lohry noted. The Expo Center still needs a naming rights purchaser.
“Now that it’s a reality and it’s going forward, I think it’ll make the fundraising a lot easier, because now people can visualize what this Expo Center is going to be and how it can be such a great addition to the quality of life issues in Sioux City,” Lohry said.
The facility is expected to start hosting events in 2020.