O.C. Convention Center Talks Third Expansion - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

O.C. Convention Center Talks Third Expansion

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Ocean City Convention Center Ocean City Convention Center

OCEAN CITY, Md.- The Ocean City Convention Center is in the preliminary stages of a possible third expansion, just weeks after wrapping up a two-phase, multi-year renovation project.

According to officials, a tentative plan was discussed at a recent Town Council meeting about blowing out the north end of the Roland E. Powell Convention Center on 40th Street and adding 28,000 square feet to the main exhibit hall.

"The work we just finished was the creation of the Performing Arts Center inside the Convention Center," Terry McGean, city engineer, said. "Construction for this last expansion took about a year."

Phase one and two of the Convention Center's renovation added new bay front exhibit space and a 1,200-seat, two-story auditorium, all for $23 million; Ocean City split the cost with the Maryland Stadium Authority, officials said.

McGean says they have been receiving a lot of demand from existing users that would like more exhibit space.

"The first thing we do is a marketing and feasibility analysis to see if the demand is there and what exactly the demand is for," McGean said. "The next step would be to do some preliminary design work and cost estimating."

The Ocean City Mayor and Council plan to ask the MDSA to share the $70,000 cost of a consultant's study.

McGean says it will be a very long process.

"The plans for expansion would go to the Mayor and City Council, then the MDSA and, lastly, to the state legislature to get funding," he said.

McGean adds there may be parking issues, as well.

"If we add additional exhibit space, we may need additional parking," he said.

The money for the expansion would be coming from the food tax, through the town, which is dedicated to capital improvement, and from the state's general fund, McGean said.

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