Council proposes hiring executive director for Lubbock County Expo Center, construction start date still pending


LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) — The board of directors of the Lubbock County Exhibit Center Local Government Corporation (LGC) began discussions on Wednesday about hiring an executive director for the exhibit center.

The desire for someone to be in place during construction prompted questions from the LGC and Lubbock County about when construction would begin.

“We are working hard to secure private fundraising and explore funding options for the private portion of the contribution to this project,” Greg Garfield, president of Garfield Public/Private, told LGC. “We have well over 100 identified prospects on our list and we have some interest that has been expressed by some very large companies in participating in naming rights. So we hope that in the June-July period, we will be able to have letters of intent that will validate the assumptions we have made for the naming rights projections.

Construction will not begin until sufficient private fundraising has been secured for the approximately $120 million project and bonds have been issued by the county.

Matt Edwards, Senior Vice President and Project Director of Garfield Public/Private, updated the LGC on the progress of development. He expressed optimism that the city of Lubbock will issue a building permit in May once construction documents are complete. He said a major approval came from TxDOT for site access points off North Loop 289 and North University Avenue.

Terry Holeman of Hugo Reed & Associates, Inc. also submitted plans to the LGC for private and public easements on the site, as well as a playa reclamation agreement. The LGC recommends the Lubbock County Court of Commissioners to approve the plans.

“Drainage, utilities and access easements are still part of the normal course of land development,” Holeman said. “What makes it more complicated is that it’s Lubbock County rather than just a private developer.”

As these documents and plans move through the process, the LGC is currently working to develop a job description for the future CEO.

“The idea of ​​someone coordinating between us, in addition to Garfield and the construction team, I think becomes a very important role, especially as he goes along,” manager Tim Collins told the LGC.

The discussion indicated the LGC’s desire for the Executive Director to work through the construction process and stay on to manage the exhibition center.

Lubbock County Facilities Manager Natalie Harvill told the LGC it was also necessary to hire an “owner’s representative” to ensure county interests are respected during construction. It would be a separate person and possibly under contract. No final decision has been made.

“It needs to be thought through and discussed in more detail so that we don’t get behind the ball when it comes to bringing someone in before we start construction,” Harvill said.

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