Most of the money to fund the proposed addition of a visitor's center and remodeling of the assembly hall at the American Legion building would come from private donors, said Chamber of Commerce and Conventions and Visitors Bureau CEO Jennifer Conway.

Conway hopes the entire project can be funded privately, but also thinks that should the need arise, some money could come from savings already amassing through the Chamber/CVB integration. 

“We can take those savings that are already being generated and we can apply that to the building that will benefit the whole community,” said Conway. 

Architect Dick Bundy, of the firm Bundy, Young, Sims and Potter out of Wichita Falls, and Conway presented preliminary plans for the center and updates to the American Legion building to City Council at the April 10 meeting. City Manager David Casteel estimated cost of the project at $700,000, with $600,000 of that earmarked for the addition of the visitor's center and $100,000 for updates to the assembly hall's ceiling, floor and accessibility for the disabled. “The funding looks like it may be the easy part, hopefully,” said Conway. “There will not be any increase for taxpayers by any means. This is really a privately funded thing that we can do.”

The Chamber/CVB is currently looking for private donors to aid in the funding.

Once the building is funded it will take approximately three months to engineer the additions and to draw plans,  then approximately seven months to complete demolition on the north side of the building and finish construction, said Conway.

“It can be done in phases, if need be.”

Read the entire story in Saturday's Graham Leader.