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Salt Lake OKs $6 million renovation for Gallivan Utah Center

Published: 01/09/2010
By Jared Page, Deseret News - The John W. Gallivan Utah Center is on track for a $6 million makeover.

The Salt Lake City Council, acting in its capacity as the city's redevelopment agency board of directors, Tuesday unanimously approved conceptual drawings for the expansion project, specifically the two-story building to be constructed along 200 South to house permanent restrooms, banquet facilities, plaza security and the ice skating rental office.

Expansion plans also call for a larger amphitheater and an at-grade ice skating area, allowing the space to be used for other events during spring and summer. City officials say the goal is to get the project under way as soon as possible, with completion possible by the end of summer.

The drawings presented Tuesday featured a redesigned building that addressed council members' concerns over blocked views into the plaza. The building has been set back in the revised drawings, with no obstructions on its east side.

The building also has a second-floor promenade all the way around the structure, with open areas for programming at each end.

"It will make this building much more inviting and exciting," Thomas Brennan of Edwards & Daniels Architects said.

Councilman Carlton Christensen suggested that a child-friendly feature such as a small climbing area be added to the plaza.

"There's a lot of formality to the square, and it should have that because it's a business square," Christensen said. "But I think it should have something fun, something for kids."

That and other elements of the project will be considered in the coming months when city officials review construction drawings.

City officials say the attendance and demand for events at the Gallivan Center have outgrown the current plaza, particularly during summer concerts in the amphitheater. The renovations would nearly double the current capacity of 1,000.

The Gallivan Center - bordered by 200 South, 300 South, State and Main streets - hosts more than 300 events a year, including festivals, receptions and weddings.