GBAD to Consider Expansion of Boise Centre

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The Greater Boise Auditorium District board will meet in special session Monday, Nov. 15 to consider possible expansion of the Boise Centre.

The board will decide whether to move forward with an architectural and structural analysis of the building. Architect Neil Hosford has indicated that adding another story to the downtown convention center is doable. An add-on would be an alternative to building a new center on five acres on Front Street between 11th and 13th streets. GBAD has failed twice to win voter approval for a bond sale that would allow for the construction of a new center. The current layout of the Boise Centre has 85,000 square feet, and a recent study, commissioned by GBAD, indicated that the center could use an additional 78,000 square feet.

At its last formal session on Nov. 8, GBAD's board voted 3-2 to approve a new spending plan for Fiscal Year 2011, which includes $1 million to market the Boise Centre. This comes in the wake of GBAD deciding to end funding for the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau to do the marketing. In 2010, GBAD paid the bureau $1.3 million for the marketing tasks.

GBAD board member Mike Fitzgerald told Citydesk he voted against the 2011 spending plan because it contained questionable expenses for travel and promotion.