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Hear a loud boom? That’s the sound of work beginning on the Idaho Falls Events Center

Business & Money

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IDAHO FALLS — Did you hear a loud boom Monday afternoon? That was the sound of work beginning on the Idaho Falls Events Center.

“We’re excited that we’re actually starting the construction of Events Center Drive, which will connect Snake River Landing with Pioneer Drive and give us access to the site of the future Events Center,” Idaho Falls Auditorium District Chairwoman Terri Gazdik said.

An official groundbreaking for the building has yet to happen, but the road leading to its site will be constructed in no time. Gazdik said access to the site is necessary to begin construction on the building.

“We have to have the road access for the construction vehicles to come in and be able to start construction. We’re actually segmented by three different waterways and so the bridges have to be put in to get access over the water,” Gazdik said.

The timeline for the project hasn’t been as fast as people anticipated. Gazdik said since the Idaho Falls Auditorium District was formed in 2011, they’ve been collecting hotel bed taxes to raise funds for the new building. She said there’s been a learning curve as they’ve brought in experts in various areas that have been able to direct them on construction, design and finance.

“The finance piece has been the part that we haven’t been able to figure out and we’re finally there,” Gazdik said.

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Idaho Falls Auditorium District Executive Director Chip Scott said Monday’s event was a breakthrough for them as an organization.

“We blasted a little bit, moved some rock around,” Scott said. “This was a big step for us just to actually physically see something going on out at the site. We’ve really made a lot of progress in 2018.”

Scott said the next step is to move forward with the private naming rights fundraising campaign. The naming rights campaign includes the name of the building down to ice machines and basketball hoops.

“That’s really the next step before we start construction,” Scott said. “Just know that it’s coming finally.”

Gazdik said people can look forward to the new convention center space that will be available to them, as well as concerts, trade shows and sporting events. The Events Center is a $60 million project and will be able to seat 4,000 people. It can hold roughly 5,500 people at full capacity.

“There are a lot of team partners and experts that we brought in that have devoted volunteer hours to making this happen,” Gazdik said.