VIRGINIA, MN-- Since June 2020, construction on the new $38 million Miners Event and Convention Center (MECC) has been underway and project leaders say things are looking right on schedule.
"We got all the walls and roof on," said Brian Silber Director for the Virginia Parks and Recreation Department. "Now, we're in the dry, we have a bunch of our interior walls going up, plumbing and electrical is well underway."
Virginia Mayor Larry Cuffe Jr adds community input inspired the 144,000 square foot convention center's layout.
"We're really excited for the community, this has been a long arduous process moving forward," said Cuffe. "It wasn't a decision made by the city council or the mayor or a small group of administrative staff." It was the community that had all these ideas, it was the community that said, look, this is what we want, this is what we need."
Inside the convention center, two hockey arenas. The main area can hold up to 2,000 for ice events and up to 3,000 for non-ice events when the rink can be covered.
The center also includes an event space that can hold up to 500 to 700 inside depending on the event layout.
Project officials are hoping this 21st-century building will bring more to the region.
"This is a building unlike anything the Iron Range has seen in the past," adds Silber.
The center is scheduled to open to the public the week of September 20th, with several grand opening ceremonies.
Center officials are currently taking reservations for future events.
Other amenities the center will include which were added with community input are mother's rooms.
Aside from four locker rooms, there are separate shower and changing rooms for any coed hockey teams.
Visit Miners Event and Convention Center's website for project updates and information.