The West Plains Civic Center faced adversity in 2020. COVID-19 left its mark on the Center, as it forced most scheduled shows and events to postpone or cancel. Rather than sit idly by, the City of West Plains and the Civic Center chose to dedicate its time to renovation, upgrades, and updates.
“The pandemic closing the building was not something anyone could have ever expected, but this time gave our building the opportunity to be refreshed in a way that would have been much harder to do with our normal slate of concerts, theater productions, meetings, trade shows, and other events that make up the over 800 events that the Civic Center hosts each year,” said Civic Center Director Eryn Walters.
The list of updates is expansive and includes:
- Freshly painted walls in the civic center lobby, halls and all seven meeting rooms
- Updated sound system, drop-down screen and ceiling mounted projector in the Magnolia Room
- New drop-down screen and ceiling mounted projector in the Walnut Room
- New podium with updated city branding
- New portable sound system with Bluetooth capabilities
- New collegiate-sized basketball court
- Removed damage walking track from the arena floor
- New LED scoreboard system in arena
- Completed core-drilling in the arena to be able to support events that require dual volleyball courts, such as the NJCAA National Volleyball Tournament
- Updated the padding along the south wall of the arena and the curtain dividing the arena and the exhibit hall
- Upgraded security cameras throughout the civic center
- Upgraded operations equipment
- Installed new marquee and signage
- Installed new LED pool lighting
“The West Plains Civic Center is a gem to our town and the surrounding area,” said Walters. “Investing in this facility is an investment in our community. The Civic Center has over 150,000 people through its doors each year and with these improvements we are hoping to grow that number even more.”
The updates and upgrades will continue throughout 2021.
“Theater lighting will be replaced with LED lights this summer, and this fall we will have the Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS) on the outside of the building repaired and the exterior windows in the pool area replaced,” said Walters. “We are going to continue to make upgrades and replacements as time goes forward. The building may get older but the memories that will be made here are timeless.”
Country music icon John Conlee was scheduled to perform in concert in March 2020 but had to reschedule due to the pandemic. That rescheduled date is July 23, 2021.
Those who purchased tickets previously need to keep those tickets as they will be honored at the door. Doors are 6 pm with showtime set for 7 pm.
Conlee has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1981. During his 40-year career in country music, he has brought to audiences such classics as: “Rose Colored Glasses”, “Friday Night Blues”, “Backside of 30”, “Common Man”, “Miss Emily’s Picture”, “I Don’t Remember Lovin’ You”, and more. Overall, there have been 29 single releases throughout the years with 26 of them charting in the top 20 or better. Eight of those 26 have reached the coveted No. 1 spot on the national country charts.
Those interested in buying tickets for the John Conlee show should do so by calling the Civic Center Box Office at 417-256-8087 or visiting the box office Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.