|Event Center plans for grand opening/thank you celebration|
|Written by Chris Lee|
With the test drive over, Phillips County Event Center will celebrate its grand opening/thank you celebration Sunday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m.
Phillips County Commissioners said this event is for the people and organizations who helped make the building project possible.
The celebration will kick off with a short program at 2 p.m. followed by a ribbon cutting, remarks as well as the first completed showing of the donor wall. Visitors will also be able to check out the entire building if they haven’t already.
“We’re really ready to have a celebration,” commissioner Susan Roll Walters said.
Many events have already been held under the new roof including a couple of weddings, benefits, regional meetings, local meetings, Cinco De Mayo celebration and even a funeral.
Roll Walters said when they were in the process of planning and building, they never would’ve thought to use the facility for a funeral. It just goes to show the Event Center can be used for nearly any occasion.
The Bike and Build organization also utilized the space for an overnight stay as they made their way through Holyoke. And of course, the building was utilized for the 2010 Phillips County Fair.
County administrator Randy Schafer said he hopes to see regional organizations continue to use the building as well, and expects those types of uses to grow.
County commissioner Bud Biesemeier said the people who have used the building say it is fantastic.
The newest facility in Phillips County isn’t only home to meetings and parties. Three different organizations also call the Event Center home. Colorado State University Extension office, Dragon’s Wagon Preschool and Phillips County Family Education Services have nestled into their new homes as well.
Some of the features, Roll Walters said really add to the building include the sound system, acoustics, handicap accessibility and even Wi-Fi internet access which was recently installed. This past summer, workers finished landscaping around the building and also completed a new asphalt driveway and parking area.
CSU Extension Office
Not only has CSU Extension utilized the office space, they have also used their resources to implement a garden complete with benches just outside their doors. A grant from Colorado Garden Show Inc. helped provide a new educational demonstration garden, benches and flagpoles.
Linda Langelo, Horticulture Program Associate, said it will take a little bit of learning for the public to remember the office has moved from downtown to the Event Center. “It’s going to take some exposure to get the building up and going,” she added.
Langelo said she recently read an article that said a student decides whether he or she will attend a certain college or university by what the layout looks and feels like. She said it’s no different with the Event Center.
“We have a beautiful building, and we have the beginnings of some good landscaping and that’s going to make all the difference in the world,” Langelo said.
“We’re glad to have the building and glad to have the space,” she added. “We’re very grateful.”
Kindra Plumb who began at the extension office in July said being on the fairgrounds for fair was great. “Fair was amazing,” Plumb said. “It was great to have everything right there.”
As for the grand opening/thank you celebration, the Extension office will be open and available for anyone to look around and ask questions.
Dragon’s Wagon Preschool
Dragon’s Wagon Preschool moved into its new home just under a year ago and everyone seems to like the new setup.
“We absolutely love it,” director Marcia Walter said. “We couldn’t be happier.”
In addition to the new area, Dragon’s Wagon has built a new playground for kids to use located just outside their doors on the east side of the building. “It’s an attractive looking building,” Walter said.
She said when they first moved in, they were the only ones and things were pretty quiet. Now, things have picked up and Walter said it’s nice to see the traffic. “It appears to be utilized a lot.”
The preschool will be open and available for tours during the celebration on Sunday.
Phillips County Family Education Services
The third occupant of the building is very happy with where they are. Plumb, who served as the executive director of Family Education Services before moving to the extension office said the new building was “a dream come true.”
The expanded space allows the program to offer more classes simultaneously. Plumb said this allows Family Ed to offer more classes like computer classes.
Current director Trisha Herman, said they are looking into reaching out to more people. She said they are hoping to offer some classes through NJC that aren’t only available for the Hispanic population. The computer lab will help make offering the classes easier, according to Herman.
Being new to the position, Herman can’t completely compare the new space to where they were in Inklings Bookstore, but said those who attend can attest it’s nice to spread out a bit.
She also said the new area has been nice for early childhood parents and children.
Herman also noted the expanded space has allowed for better learning. She said everyone seems to show up on time and has really enhanced the learning.
Herman said they recently hosted some businesses for learning opportunities and hope to continue to reach out to the public. Other ideas also include an after school program.