City Counsel re-evaluates construction

16 years ago Comments Off on City Counsel re-evaluates construction

Members of the Huntsville City Council have announced plans to re-evaluate construction of a proposed hotel and conference center complex at the Raven Nest Golf Course. Following his return from a conference, Huntsville Director of Economic Development J.D. Schindler told the council a workshop should be held to discuss many new areas of concern with the project.”J.D. Schindler came away from the conference with the feeling that there were some issues the council needed to discuss,” Mayor Bill Green said. Among the issues up for questioning are the location of the planned convention center, financing for the project, the rooms-to-conference center ratio and design aspects.Green said the council has planned to discuss Schindler’s findings either before its second meeting in February or first meeting in March.”We thought it was appropriate for him to tell us what he learned at the conference and, we will discuss any changes that need to be made,” Green said. “We want to be sure the process is well thought out and that it is really what we want to do.”Green said the project remains in the planning stages with council members still seeking specific written designs and a hotel chain to put its name on the project. “I wouldn’t say we have postponed anything,” he said. “Currently we are rethinking the process and working with different hotel groups. We are not going to build this center until we have a hotel chain to back it up.”While council members struggle to get the conference center off the ground, Green said the Raven Nest course itself is progressing nicely. “The golf course is running right on schedule; it’s really beginning to shape up,” Green said. “It is set to open in October of this year.When complete the 18-hole course, located along Interstate 45 near Huntsville Memorial Hospital, will serve both the city and university as the home course of the SHSU Bearkat golf teams. “It’s going to be a very exciting course, kind of a municipal course, that will be a real showplace for the town of Huntsville and for the university as well,” Green said. “It will help the golf teams in their recruiting efforts and just be a really exciting thing for everyone.”Green added although the conference center was proposed to compliment the Raven Nest Golf Course, it should be viewed as a separate project that will likely be completed at a much later date. “There was never any intention to open them together,” he said. “We are building a golf course, and we thought it would be nice to have a hotel and convention center to go with it. They have always been two separate projects.”City Manager Bob Hart said although certain aspects need to be ironed out, citizens should not feel the conference center project is being abandoned.”This community needs and can support a conference center. There have been some questions and issues that we need to address before we move forward,” Hart said in The Huntsville Item. “We want to do this the right way and not haphazardly, and that may take some time.”