Feb 5, 2014 11:16 AM by Nathan O'Neal
TUCSON - The City Council voted to approve $760,000 in additional spending to conduct repairs and construction at the Tucson Convention Center, making way for a $8 million renovation project spearheaded by Rio Nuevo.
It's been about a year since The City of Tucson struck a deal with Rio Nuevo. It ended an era of dispute with plans for improvements to TCC.
Rio Nuevo agreed to dedicate nearly $7.8 million toward renovations. However, before that can take place, the city must take care of deferred maintenance to the facility.
The main problem area: the TCC arena.
Torn seating, sub-par bathrooms and a leaking roof are just some signs of neglect.
"So it's like if you were remodeling your house, your contractor told you that you had a bad roof ...That's pretty much what happened today -- they've got to fix that first," said Fletcher McCusker, the Chairman for the Rio Nuevo District Board.
The city has been responsible for maintenance and repair of the arena and the overall TCC since it was built, so the city has had that responsibility. Agreements with Rio Nuevo still give that responsibility to the city," said the city's director of general service department Ronal Lewis.
McCusker hopes that the multi-million dollar renovations to the arena, including improved seating and a sound system will change TCC's image.
"We want our arena to be on the map. Right now it's not, it's boycotted. People go from Palm Springs to Albuquerque ... they go from Phoenix to El Paso. We want people to think about our arena when there's a touring concert or some other kind of program," McCusker said.
Rio Nuevo's $8 million plan for TCC is expected to be finalized by the end of the month. Construction could begin as soon as March.