COLBY, Kan. — In January of 1954, the City of Colby jumped into the future with the construction of its Community Building. Playing host to events for both Colby High School and Colby Community College, the space became a vital part of the city, bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the city from the various events held within it.
Today, Mayor Gary Adrian and several other influential members of the community gathered to break ground on a new endeavor that will once again catapult the city into the future.
Resting at the corner of College and Franklin, the new Colby Event Center will become the home of high school and college athletics once completed in the fall of 2020.
Mayor Adrian addressed the crowd of city residents and students on the future site of the event center.
The new facility will have a capacity of around 1,950 seats in the main gymnasium, roughly 600 more than the capacity of the current downtown community building. The facility will also hold around 750 patrons in the secondary gym, allowing plenty of space to host a variety of high school and college athletic tournaments on one site.
The opportunity to host regional tournaments for volleyball and wrestling will now be present due to the added court space and will bring thousands of dollars annually to the city, according to Mayor Adrian.
Pictured above, the future site of the Colby Event Center (E. College Drive & S. Franklin Avenue).
“When I first got on the booster club board in 2002, we recognized something had to be done with the Community Building,” said Adrian following the ground breaking ceremony. “It’s not ADA, it’s not safe beyond the sidelines against the wall, and when I was elected mayor in 2011, we looked at the community building again and said ‘we’ve got to do something about that.'”
The new facility has been long overdue, but with the ground breaking ceremony today, it is expected that there will be crews beginning to move dirt early next week.
“With good weather, we should be ready to go by September, but with bad weather we shouldn’t be delayed more than October, so knock on wood we’ll be ready by volleyball season,” said Adrian.
The Event Center will not just be home to athletic contests. According to Mayor Adrian, once the facility’s construction is complete, there is interest in bringing in events such as farm shows and other conventions relevant to the region.
“The old Community building brought in approximately $4-5 milion to our community (annually),” said Adrian. “This will probably double or triple that.”
The bond to fund the facility will begin on April 1st of 2020, immediately following the end of the bond for the Fire Department and Aquatic Center.
Colby Mayor Gary Adrian addresses the crowd at the Colby Event Center Groundbreaking Ceremony.
Court space for practices was also a large concern for the facility, but Mayor Adrian assures that there will be no need for, “ungodly 6 a.m. practice times,” due to the four available practice courts in the new building.
A number of people and committees were consulted in the planning process to establish what needed to be included or excluded from the building’s design. A unique feature included in the design will be an indoor playground. The playground will be available year-round to the public for the extreme temperatures of both summer and winter, as well as the entertainment of young children attending the many events the facility will host.
“We work together here. It’s a proud community,” said Adrian when asked about the process of planning and funding the facility.
Adrian added that the community’s willingness to cooperate and come to decisions that benefit all involved parties was a huge part in making this project a reality.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the Event Center’s construction process right here on NWKSradio.com.
Members of the Event Center Planning Committee dig in to the future site of the facility.
featured image and event photography courtesy of Sara Miles
Jackson Schneider –
email: [email protected]