Plans to expand Extraco Events Center underway

WACO, TX - The plans to expand Waco's Extraco Events Center are underway. 

McLennan County Commissioners will open up bids this Friday to construction companies interested in the project. 

The goal is to build a new expo center, and to add more horse facilities. 

The project is expected to cost about $30 million, but the taxpayers don't pay a dime. 

All the money comes from visitors through a venue tax on hotels and rental cars. 

Charva Ingram with the Extraco Events Center feels excited about its development. 

"You can see and experience just more things and watch more people coming into our community and see how great it is," Ingram says.

Ingram says the new expo center will be a multipurpose facility used for, "Youth basketball tournaments, car shows, boat shows - a lot of different things that nowhere in the community we have been able to host those types of events before."

All of this is being done as an effort to boost the economy and tourism in McLennan County. 

"People are spending here when they are dining, and they are shopping and staying at our hotels," Ingram says.

The property is shared between the county, the City of Waco and the Waco Independent School District. The visitors brought in $1 million in the last eight months. 

"We are waiting to get a good 12-month revenue stream so we can get a better idea, but we are definitely on target. And we feel very confident the revenues will be enough to satisfy debt service on the bonds," says Precinct Four Commissioner Ben Perry.

County commissioners want to find the right construction company to kick off the project. 

"It is easier instead of having to go out and bid all the trades separately to find a construction manager at risk that comes in and runs the entire project for you," Perry says.

Construction starts in a few months. Companies interested in taking over this project have until April 18 to contact the county commissioners. 

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