Trio of Convention Center designs unveiled to public

SPOKANE, Wash. - The community got a say in the future of the Spokane Convention Center Thursday, in a public unveiling of the three design finalists.

Each plan will add 20,000 square feet to the Convention Center, making it a full 100,000 square feet in the end.

The firms competing are Garco/ALSC/LMN, YLK Joint Venture/Bernardo Wills/TVSDesign and Lydig/Integrus. All three were given a separate room on the second floor of the Convention Center and welcomed the public to take a look at what they had to offer.

Convention Center plans

If they were listening to the public, they all met one goal: honor the Spokane River.

"I really like in one of the projects that it uses a lot of native vegetation and does a great job of making the river look like a river and not a park," Amanda Parish said.

"There's a desire to draw people in from the main roads, draw the pedestrians in and actually provide a way down to the river," Grant Keller said. "Currently, the way the facilities, the way they're laid out it's kind of hard to navigate, it's hard to know where you're supposed to go."

"I really like that it creates a sense of flow from the park across the river to the river, up the river it has that nice, green infrastructure," Amanda Swan said.

Everyone who visited the showrooms was asked to take a brief survey, comments that will make their way back to the Public Facilities District and help them make a final vote on Tuesday, April 23.

"What we wanted to do was put a front door on the river really and make it something that now becomes a community asset in many ways," Rafael Vinoly of the Gargo/ALSC/LMN design team said.

They were all pitching something unique from repaving the Centennial Trail from Washington to Division, to floor to ceiling windows so that whether you're inside or out – the river is the main focus.

"That extra 20,000 helps [the city] get a lot more shows, a lot more interest and a lot more outside people to Spokane to visit and see what town does," Jeramie Keeble of the YLK Joint Venture/Bernardo Wills/TVSDesign team said.

All three firms agreed, regardless of who wins the expansion of the Convention Center is a good project for the Spokane community.