Ground broken for the Newnan Centre

Ground was broken Sept. 9 for the 16,000 square-foot Newnan Centre on Lower Fayetteville Road in Newnan. The facility is a project of the Newnan Convention Center Authority. Shoveling dirt for the groundbreaking were, from left, authority members Theodora Stegall, Theresa Lovett, Mike Colpoys, Chris Hallman, Cathy Sandlin, Don Bowen and Chairman Parks Avery. Photo/Ben Nelms.

The Centre for Performing and Visual Arts on Lower Fayetteville Road in Newnan is about to get a new neighbor. The Sept. 9 groundbreaking ceremony for the 16,000 square-foot Newnan Centre means that by next July the side-by-side facilities will add another level of civic opportunities to the Coweta County community.

The Newnan Centre is a project of the Newnan Convention Center Authority. Like The Centre that will be situated directly to the east, the Newnan Centre is expected to provide another venue for meetings, arts and civic activities to Newnan and the Coweta County community.

“The Newnan Centre will be an outstanding infrastructure addition for our city,” Newnan Convention Center Authority Chairman Parks Avery said recently. “We expect it to house a multitude of local activities including meetings, arts, shows, weddings and other social events.”

Avery said the anticipated completion date is July 2012. And with its opening next year the Newnan Centre will feature two buildings connected by a glass-enclosed pavilion. One of the buildings will house a large ballroom that can be divided into four separate, smaller rooms, Avery said.

Avery noted that the pavilion area situated between the buildings could provide a unique venue for events such as receptions.

The Newnan Centre will also feature a boardroom facility, full kitchen for catering purposes and state-of-the-art audio/visual infrastructure, Avery added.

Avery said the motivation for the project was to provide a large, high quality meeting space as an infrastructure upgrade for Newnan, not only for the business and social community but for prospective industry as well.

But there will be a bit more to the new conference and events center. The Newnan Centre will be connected by a covered walkway to The Centre for Performing and Visual Arts, owned by the Coweta County School System.

Avery said planning for the project began approximately 11 years ago with an $800,000 purchase of 43 acres on Lower Fayetteville Road as a joint venture between the Coweta County School System and the Newnan Convention Center Authority.

Newnan voters subsequently approved two 1-cent sales tax initiatives that were used to collect the majority of the funds needed for the development of the $5.04 million Newnan Centre project, Avery said. Approximately $4.38 million was raised through 1-cent sales tax receipts while another $662,000 in funds came from the city’s motel/hotel tax.

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