IDAHO FALLS — Builders, sponsors, partners and others celebrated a significant milestone in the construction of the Mountain America Center Friday.
One of the final steel beams was placed on top of the facility and it included signatures from those who have helped make the event center at Snake River Landing a reality.
“We donated this prominent site because it’s our firm belief that a center like this represents jobs (and) opportunities for residents and growth in commerce,” said Liza Leonard, Director of Public Affairs for Ball Ventures. “We believe the event center will be an asset to the community, promote additional economic development and increase the quality of life in the region.”
The Idaho Falls Auditorium District has been trying to get the 48,000-square-foot building off the ground for over a decade. Ground was broken on the $62 million project in May and once complete, between 4,500 and 6,000 spectators will be able to watch concerts and cheer on athletic teams.
Major sponsors and contributors to the event center include Golden Valley Natural, Melaleuca, Teton Auto Group, Admiral Beverage Bingham Healthcare and others.
“The Idaho Falls Auditorium District could only take this building so far,” Rob Spear, Idaho Falls Auditorium District Executive Director, told attendees Friday. “We needed additional help and how fitting it is that today we have the last piece of structural support going in this facility with your names on it.”
Snake River Landing donated 22 acres of land for the center in 2009. Since then, the Idaho Falls Auditorium District has worked to secure funding and support. The District hopes the arena will be home to a hockey team, but there is also space for conventions, conferences and other events.
“My wife Connie and I have always felt it’s important for us to give back to the community that has given so much to our family,” Allen Ball, founder of Ball Ventures, said in a statement. “That goal has been much of the driving force behind Snake River Landing and this land donation.”
Around 100 construction workers have worked on the project for nearly a year and next steps include enclosing the roof so interior work can be done. If all goes as planned, the Mountain America Event Center will open by Nov. 1.