Cumberland board to review ‘guiding principles’ for Crown Event Center project
By Jason Brady
The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners is due to consider two issues related to the Crown Event Center project on Tuesday.
The Board will consider approving the “Guiding Principles” which have been approved by the Crown Event Center Committee. Approval of the Request for Qualifications for architectural services for the project will also be requested.
Council meets at 9 a.m. in Room 118 of the Judge E. Maurice Braswell Cumberland County Courthouse.
The Crown Event Center committee is made up of commissioners Jeannette Council, Jimmy Keefe and Glenn Adams. At a committee meeting on August 16, members received an update on the center from MBP Carolinas, who serves as the “owner’s representative” for the project.
Earlier this year, County Executive Amy Cannon told commissioners that having a landlords’ representative would make the process of building the center faster and more efficient.
The proposed facility will replace the aging theater and arena at the Crown Coliseum complex on US 301 Business. Both facilities are scheduled to close in 2025.
At the August meeting, MBP presented the “Guiding Principles” which are intended to serve as the basis for the development of the Crown Event Center. Essentially, these are project-specific values based on recommendations from a community engagement process.
The guiding principles were first presented to the committee in May and were refined and revised based on a community engagement process held July 15-16.
The Crown Event Center committee approved the revised guiding principles at its August 16 meeting. Also at the meeting, the committee asked MBP to prepare a request for qualifications for architectural services for the full board to consider.
The guiding principles approved by the committee require several things, including:
- A local and regional asset that builds on existing economic development infrastructure and is a catalyst for existing and new businesses to flourish.
- A place that enhances and elevates the community as a premier destination for entertainment, events and gatherings.
- A quality, scalable and efficient venue that delivers a first-class experience with a lasting impression.
- A place that offers a first-class, welcoming and accessible experience for all customers.
- A flexible and functional place with several spaces to accommodate a varied program.
- Affordable spaces to host local and regional cultural programs hosted by schools, universities, arts organizations and community organizations.
- An engaging community facility that is financially self-sufficient.
County staff recommends that council approve the guidelines and price request for architectural services.
In other matters, County Health Director Jennifer Green is to give the council a detailed briefing on monkeypox and the county’s response to the disease. Free vaccines and tests are available at the Department of Public Health.
Currently, there are nine cases of monkeypox in Cumberland County, according to a memo in the council’s agenda.
Statewide, there are 332 cases of monkeypox with the following demographics:
- 99% of all cases involve men who have sex with men.
- 37% among 18-29 year olds.
- 54% among 30-49 year olds.
- 68% among African American men.
- 87% are non-Hispanic.
The board must also meet in camera for real estate acquisition, attorney-client matters and personnel.
Jason Brady covers Cumberland County Government for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at [email protected].