0

What does the future hold for civic center?

ALBANY, Ga. — With the Albany City Commission set to accept return of the deed for the Albany Civic Center from the Albany Dougherty Inner City Authority later this month and the building itself now paid off, what does the future hold for the largest indoor gathering place in Southwest Georgia.

In February, the city made the last payment on a lengthy series of bonds that had been used to build and improve the civic center.

As per the bond agreement, ADICA, which was the executor of the bonds, held the deed until the debt was paid off. Now that it has, that deed will transfer to the city.

So what does the city do now with a nearly 40-year-old medium-sized venue that can seat close to 10,000 people?

For now, status quo seems to be the answer.

“I’m not aware of any definitive plans to do anything with the building,” Blair said. “There are definitely options that you have after a property is paid off, but in just about all of the master plans and studies, it’s there. Just like it is currently.”

But, like any aging building, the civic center requires maintenance to stay functional. And the older it gets, the more those maintenance bills could stack up for area taxpayers.

In the last sales tax referendum, voters allotted funds to repair the stairs for the exterior of the civic center.

City officials have also expressed concern about the rising utility costs.

Some city officials have heard rumblings about a transformative project that could involve the addition of conference center space or a new hotel.

Some online comments at albanyherald.com, show support for either demolishing it and building something bigger and better or expanding the existing facility with the intent to attract new shows and events.

Blair said that, if the civic center were to get a new start in the future, that some kind of multi-purpose center would likely be the city’s best option.

“You need something that is versatile,” Blair said. “The more events, concerts, promoters and organizers you can cater to, the more likely we are to keep the building in use.”

Comments

Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

If not for H.S. basketball (which the DCSS Asst. Super. has personal charge of scheduling apparently...) there would not be 12 events per year there. Pretty worthless building. Maybe Oxford could tear it down too while they're in the area?

0

tocar 2 years ago

We use to have wonderful concerts at the civic center for many years after it opened. Change in management did not help anything. People from all over came and enjoyed sell-out events. Class acts came such as Reba, Conway, Kenny, George Jones, and many more. Albany threw it away. Not anyone wants to perform in this city now. Look at the industries we have run out of town. We are unable to keep the current center going so let's not burden the taxpayers with more debt. A new center is not the answer.

2

43cop 2 years ago

I cannot believe that even one person could mention tearing down or re-building another in the place of this center. If the city had looked after it to start with, we would not even be talking this "stupid" idea. I agree with tocar in that the commission would not, and I will say again, WOULD NOT, hire anyone that had the skill to run the civic center. With good entertainment at the center, it could be a point of revenue for the city instead of costing taxpayers additional money. Now, I guess with will spend some more money we don't have, except for the 15%, to fund these silly projects. I guess the next thing will be to name this after Johnson since his son hasn't got anything yet. WAKE UP. We are broke, streets don't get repairs, employees don't get raises to feed their families, benefits are all but gone, basic reapirs to projects are not done and you are even thinking about tearing down and rebuilding a center of any kind. GET REAL.

0

Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

Let's use it to get another big pile of Federal money!!!!!!! We won't stop until everybody in Albany has a new BMW or Mercedes!! (But only if your great grandfather was oppressed...everybody else has to buy your own!)

0

VSU 2 years ago

I remember the days there used to be events all the time at the civic center...Concerts, Wrestling, Disney shows etc. You had something going on at least every two weeks, now it's like every two months if not more. Bad management and high prices is a big part of it and The fact that Albany is sandwiched in between Tallahassee and Columbus doesn't help much either.

0

VietVet1 2 years ago

They kept Mattie in power long enough to drive the final nail plus a couple more for good measure from promoters ever wanting to come back to Albany.

1

Shinedownfan 2 years ago

Okay, I have done some research and some googling and I cannot find that the civic center is nearly 40 years old for one... I'd say it's a lot closer to 30. The oldest I can find is that it was built in 1983, that might be off by a year or two... so the "nearly 40" should be changed to "nearly 30". Two... I think the main reason the building just sits there is that it takes WORK to bring in acts to perform. No one wants to do the work if they get paid either way. Let's see... Work hard and get paid, or don't work hardly at all and get paid... What is the usual Albany mentality these days? That's ur answer.

1

VietVet1 2 years ago

Late 90's Mattie "would" rent me the grounds out back along with securtiy for a little more than what I rented Reeves Arena at Perry GA National Fairgrounds. Ummm indoors, full facilities for less. Guess where I went!

0

VSU 2 years ago

Not sure exact year it was built, I do know it was named in honor of Mayor James H Gray Sr. in 1986. That wasn't too long after it was built. I believe originally they called it as simply Albany Civic Center, then renamed it to James H. Gray Sr. Civic center after Mayor Gray's death.

I remember there were houses along the banks in that area where people lived, then that was all torn down to build the Civic Center and parking lot.

0

KaosinAlbany 2 years ago

The city had that person who would work hard to bring acts here but Al Lott ruined it. Thanks again, Al...

0

Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

I saw a religious performance there sometime prior to 1989 and it wasn't that old then. That would make it at least 23 years old but not much more. 40 years is just more Liberal Democrat exagerations to make things seem worse or better than they really are depending on the subject.

NO WAY it's over 30 years old but I don't have much respect for the journalistic fact checking of some of the Herald's reporters. Just ask Carlton Fletcher who just makes it up as he goes along. Facts??? Who needs facts???? They might get in the way of your opinions.

1

Shinedownfan 2 years ago

I was not 5 when it was built... I was a teenager, so I am sticking to the 30 years... They want it to be older than it really is in order to justify the "tear down and make new" suggestions.

0

KaosinAlbany 2 years ago

I'm sick of them tearing down all of Albany's history. That is all they know to do around here. Tear down and have the state or the feds to foot the bill for something new. It is a never ending process. Why didn't they just let it go into the flood waters in 94 & 98 instead of volunteers putting the effort in to save the Civic Center if all they want to do now is tear it down? They make no sense and I am VERY SICK OF THE STATUS QUO and how they force THEIR decisions down our throats. Some of us actually care about this town but the powers that be does not and their actions, or shall I say the lack of action, everyday just backs up my point.

0

VSU 2 years ago

Makes you wonder if they will tear it down and rebuild it just to give it another name.

0

Outtahere 2 years ago

Bad management is at fault here.

0

TheBoss 2 years ago

They need to hire the lady at the Sasser Flea Market to run Civic Center. She can get some good acts here. But then again, she might not have any connections with gangster rappers to keep the shows fair and balanced.

1

jglass 2 years ago

Shinedownfan, I also know there is no way that the civic center is 40 years old. It is 30 years at max, but I bet it is not that old yet. Yeah, back in the day the civic center had some of the best concerts and events coming to town. I guess poor management and high prices ran the entertainment off.

0

DoCocitizen 2 years ago

I was part of an international entertainment group that performed at the Albany Civic Center spring of 1984. 28 years ago - and it was quite new at that time. So 30 years is about on the mark for the age of the Albany Civic Center.

0

Shinedownfan 2 years ago

Since we are talking about the Civic Center, I do have to say that I saw Three Doors Down, Shinedown and Tantric there in either 2003 or 2004. Little did I know then Shinedown would come to be my fave band. :)

0

KaosinAlbany 2 years ago

I went to a Panthers game there over the weekend and had a ball. I didn't realize until then how much joy that building has brought to me over the years, especially my younger years.

0

AlbCitz 2 years ago

I believe you can thank Mayor Gray for the Civic Center and ADICA. As I recall he wanted the Civic Center as a part of his redevelopment efforts, knew the citizens would never vote for it, so ADICA was born, built and owned by ADICA, rented to the city...thus the reason now that the 30 year bonds are finanly paid off, it is going to the City. It was a gem in its day, Tina Tuner, Journey , many well known artists. Mattie Goddard killed it....I say rent it to Albany State and let it be the Home of the Rams, build a walking bridge over to the campus...make use of our assets instead of building more buildings to sit empty.

0

Shinedownfan 2 years ago

Journey never came to Albany, believe me, I would have remembered that, I was crazy for that band in my high school years! Foreigner, Loverboy, Huey Lewis and the News, 38 Special, Heart, Alabama, Kenny Rogers, Elton John, Cant recall others, but I know they came. I have many happy memories in that place too. Thanks Mayor Gray!

0

LuLu 2 years ago

I have to agree with you. If Journey had ever come to Albany, I would either 1) been arrested for stalking Steve Perry, or 2) become Mrs. Steve Perry!

0

Shinedownfan 2 years ago

I woulda been arrested with you or fought you for him! :)

0

tywebb 2 years ago

this just threw me for a loop!!!! I always thought you were a guy! Don't know why....probably just because i'm an idiot!

0

Shinedownfan 2 years ago

If you come back here and read this, go to your profile, I'm leaving you a message (top right in the herald tool bar).

0

tocar 2 years ago

My home is over 35 years old so guess I need to move out and see if I can get help from the government to get another one. Albany thinks our city is financially secure. What turnip truck did they fall off of?

0

SMHgain 2 years ago

The civic center was built in the early 1980's, so that is only around thirty years ago. I attended a Bon Jovi/ Skidrow concert there in mid 1990's.

0

Cartman 2 years ago

Mayor James Gray pushed the Civic Center despite controversial opposition that Albany was not big enough to support it. He believed in it enough to put $2m of his own money into the Civic Center. That's why it is named after him. He also planned for a huge pyramid-shaped downtown office/hotel complex, which combined with the Civic Center - would make Albany a premier destination for conventions and seminars. Emminent domain was used to acquire every property in Albany's most historic and busiest square block "the downtown central square". It was a huge pyramid and a huge gamble. At great expense, each property was acquired and bulldozed as soon as it was acquired. Then Mayor Gray died. The only building left was the First State Bank Bldg, which currently is the Chamber of Commerce. Everything stopped mid-stream. The downtown central square was a field of dirt. No businesses came. That's why now its all government bldgs. Downtown died.

0

TamewRod 2 years ago

The civic center opened in 1983. It's 29 years old. No venue that size in a city the size of Albany can attract big name acts anymore. It just doesn't happen. Thankfully we have the Panthers to keep the facility going, for part of the year, anyway.

1

Tuck 2 years ago

Tear it down! The Sasser Flea Market has better entertainment!

0

tocar 2 years ago

We need good management who knows how to get class acts to come and things we can make money off of. Let Albany State build their own gym for them to play basketball in. The Civic Center should be reserved for people of all ages on the weekends with shows from out of town and artists for all people. We do not need any acts that cause violence and require gang attendance. We need some family shows too.

0

Justice4Moma 2 years ago

Great! Now the City can spend money on a firm to come in and tell them how it will be best used.More money for the taxpayers to pay out.We could have some very nice things going on there.But we as taxpayers have no say.Its in the hands of the City now.And we all know what that means.

0

Sign in to comment