The Wenatchee City Council is looking at designs for a $10 million renovation and upgrade to the city's convention center. 

Most of the money will be spent on a new building, which will add an additional 4,500 feet of meeting space to the complex. 

Image from ALSC Architects
Image from ALSC Architects

Council Member Linda Herald is also general manager of the convention center, and she says spending money to improve some existing meeting rooms is also a priority. 

"The problem with the Fugi and the Gala rooms is that they are so long and narrow," said Herald. "They will seat up to 200 people...but the people in the back of the room feel very disconnected with the speaker in the front of the room, and it's really not very adequate." 

Image from ALSC Architects
Image from ALSC Architects

The council held a workshop Thursday evening to look over a proposal from the ALSC architectural firm. 

Another priority for the renovation is to have a prominent front door to the convention center. 

Public comment has shown interest for the convention center to have a stronger presence on Wenatchee Avenue 

Troy Bishop with ALSC says they've created a front plaza design to address that concern. 

"We're in no way, shape or form into, really even architecture," said Bishop. "It's just to, kind of, show the general volumes and the impression that'll be, and we really think this kind of plaza will become, kind of the main front door to Wenatchee, if it's done right." 

The convention center already has an identifiable entrance on the backside on the complex, which faces a parking lot. 

The upgrades are meant to keep Wenatchee competitive in the central Washington region, specifically with Yakima and the Tri-Cities in attracting conventions to the city. 

Image from ALSC Architects
Image from ALSC Architects

In addition to the 4,500 square feet of meeting space provided from the new building addition to the convention center will be a reception area just outside. 

The entire project has a $12 million price tag, including roughly $1.3 million for pre-design and design works. The new building will cost $8.3 million to construct, and an additional $1.7 million is available for renovations, such as reconfiguring existing meeting space.

ALSC architects provided a summary of possible convention center upgrades during its Thursday presentation before the city council:  

- Renovate finishes of Existing Pre-function/circulation space: 

12,400 sf @ $100 /sf ≈ $1,240,000 

- Replace Existing operable walls: 

$326,260 (2019 Estimate) with three years of escalation @ $1.42 ≈ $463,289 

- Replace aging HVAC system: 

Pre-Design Estimate ≈ $1,500,000 

- Renovate finishes in lower-level break out rooms: 

≈ 6,950 sf @ $100 /sf ≈ $695,000 

- Renovate finishes in upper-level mtg rooms: 

11,700 sf @ $100 /sf ≈ $1,170,000 

- Reconfigure/renovate lower-level breaks out rooms: 

6,800 sf @ $210 /sf ≈ $1,428,000 

- Replace Existing carpet in mtg rooms (both levels): 

26,235 sf @ $14 /sf ≈ $369,290 

 ALSC is a Spokane based architectural firm, which also designed the 2016 renovation and upgrade to the Spokane Convention Center. 

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