The American Public Works Association has announced that the Rio Nuevo Tax District has received an award for Outstanding Public Works Project Large Structures. The award is in recognition of the renovation to the Tucson Convention Center Arena completed in January 2015, spearheaded by Rio Nuevo chairman, Fletcher McCusker and secretary, Mark Irvin.
Nearly a year ago the Tucson based tax district announced a major renovation to the 8,500 seat arena built in 1971. The project included new seats, sound, lights, upgraded electrical systems, bathrooms, concessions, paint, signage and new high definition video boards. The arena reopened January 3rd to a nearly sold out Beach Boys concert. The project includes a new breezeway entrance, new signage and polished concrete floors at a cost almost $8 million, funded by state sales tax revenues allocated to downtown Tucson revitalization.
It had been ten years since Rio Nuevo completed a project of this size and the overall project has received rave reviews from promoters, concert goers and government officials. Rio Nuevo recently announced a Phase II project for the Exhibition Hall and adjacent meeting room space that should be completed in 2016.
"We wanted to enhance the fan experience and bring people back to the Arena", said McCusker. "We are thrilled to be recognized as an excellent public works project and thank the APWA for acknowledging the value of our work and the collaboration with the city". We are very grateful to Swaim and Associates, our architect, as well as Concord Construction, with whom we share this award. We want to especially thank Elaine Becherer, the project manager, who dedicated a year of her life to keep us on time and on budget".
"The City of Tucson spent a substantial amount of time and money behind the scenes, investing in new elevators, new escalators and new fixtures that helped create a state of the art facility. Stay tuned as we move to Phase II," McCusker added.
"Our vision was to improve the fans’ experience and ensure the property was repositioned for future success while working diligently so the project was brought in on time and on budget. Mission accomplished, said Irvin. The team we assembled was outstanding and I am looking forward to the next phase of upgrades and improvements we are contemplating at the TCC.”
Irvin went on to say, “Next up, is the District's AC Marriott Hotel with developer Scott Stiteler. This will be the first hotel in 50 years downtown. It will be a major asset to the convention center. Another hotel is also in the works. Downtown and Rio Nuevo are on the move."
The president of the Southern Arizona Branch of the American Public Works Association, Joseph Soto will present the award at its annual awards banquet on Tuesday March 3, 2015 being held from 11:30 to 1:30 at the TEP 2nd floor conference room at 88 East Broadway Blvd in Tucson.