DCU Center Renovations
The City of Worcester and SMG-managed DCU Center recently held a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the substantial completion of a 23 million dollar renovation and expansion project at the arena. Worcester and DCU Center officials were joined by representatives from the State Delegation, Worcester City Council, City of Worcester Civic Center Commissioners, prominent local business people, and the Worcester Sharks to celebrate the first major refurbishment project at the City-owned Arena since it opened over 30 years ago.
The Arena has undergone exterior and interior renovations, including a redesigned box office, four new event suites, retail spaces along an expanded concourse and revamped restrooms as well as upgrades to the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. The Arena endured a five-month period of complete shutdown from May to September 2013 to allow these improvements to occur.
Through the creation of a Special Finance District Zone, the City has been able to provide the revenue stream to finance the much needed capital investment for the project. The SFD allows for the financing through net new State hotel, meals, and sales tax revenues from certain establishments in the City. The DCU Center improvements are self-supporting, as revenues from the net new State hotel meals and sales tax from this District are re-directed and re-invested to meet the annual payments on these loan authorizations for these capital improvements.
In 2006, through a home rule petition to the State Legislature, the City received authorization to create a Special Finance District (SFD) that would allow the undertaking of key capital reinvestments in the DCU Center facility. The creation of this SFD allowed for the financing of these investments through net new State hotel, meals, and sales tax revenues from certain establishments in the City. The DCU Center improvements are self-supporting, as revenues from the net new State hotel meals and sales tax from this District are re-directed and re-invested to meet the annual payments on these loan authorizations for these capital improvements.
The DCU Center Arena opened in 1982, and has yet to have a major capital infusion. Many of the life safety systems and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing/HVAC systems are original to the building and well beyond useful life. The majority of the interior of the building is worn and tired. The City’s Economic Development Team has worked closely with the Civic Center Commission to develop a master plan to address the building’s deficiencies. Key components of the project include:
- Main entrance, lobby and box office will be restructured to better accommodate ticketing, circulation, and security needs.
- Expansion of concourse along Foster Street side of building.
- Two party suites and two new major bathroom facilities.
- Interior of arena concourse will receive a facelift (paint, fixtures, floor treatments, etc.).
- New streetscape along Major Taylor Boulevard and Foster Street sides of building.
- Potential for 1,200 square foot retail space at corner of Commercial and Foster Street.
- Upgrades to mechanical and electrical systems, particularly HVAC system – chiller, cooling tower and emergency generator.
For a link to the artist renderings of the renovations please visit: http://youtu.be/AzZaQGxAouU
Heather Gould, 508-799-1400 x 233, GouldH@worcesterma.gov