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Editorial: Good news on events center

After what had to have seemed like several fits and starts to Worthington city staff and council members, an events center project is at long last taking clear steps forward.

It probably appears to many that it was an eternity ago (it was 2008) when voters approved a half-cent sales tax to fund a new events center as well as Memorial Auditorium renovations. But while the auditorium's plentiful improvements have been enjoyed by many over the course of the last year, the events center languished for a variety of reasons. Now, however, it appears the city has found the right partners to make a long-awaited construction a reality starting in July.

On Monday, the project architect from WCL Associates in St. Louis Park detailed some of the designs and features of the planned facility, which include a ballroom that can be separated into two sections accomodating 220 people each (or up to 600 people, theatre-style) and a bridal park that could sit about 100. (Multiple images can be viewed in a photo gallery at Additionally, Lexington Hotel Development Group of Greendale, Wis., plans to manage a Comfort Suites hotel on the events center site that will have 75 rooms and be constructed in the fashion of the latest Comfort Suites prototype.

Facilities such as ours -- the complex will be located on U.S. 59, near the bioscience park -- are critical in helping Worthington maintain a certain degree of viability with residents and potential visitors alike. Of course, new jobs don't hurt, either, and we believe voters realized each of these positives 3 1/2 years ago.

We look forward to the start of construction -- it's already proving to be an an active building year in Worthington -- and completion of the project by next May.