Oil money credited for new Center civic center

CENTER, TX (KTRE) - By Donna McCollum - email

CENTER TX, (KTRE) - Atop a hill for all to see in Center is the John D. Windham Civic Center, named for the current mayor. The 26,000 square-foot building can accommodate hundreds. Or host a more intimate gathering.

There are six meeting rooms, banquet facilities, and audio and video systems, which meets or beats meeting spots in neighboring communities. That said, not to boast, but rather to illustrate, Center has something people are ready to use.

"We have small meetings, business meetings, training sessions, job recruiting, and health fair scheduled in a few weeks," said City Manager Chad Nehring.

The reservation calendar is filling up fast for the new civic center. In fact, next week, their first dignitary, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, has the boardroom reserved. They promise the table will be here by then.

Local support made it all a reality, with the help of over $2 million in oil and gas revenue.

"The oil and gas exploration, land development and mineral right leasing has increased our hotel occupancies tremendously," said Nehring.

The only thorn in the city's side is the denial of over a million dollars for a hurricane evacuation center at the facility. Plans changed. Now the city has a tornado safe room for its own residents.

The civic center proves community pride can lead to big things for a small town, a county, and even a region.

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