The long-anticipated Kaufman Civic Center is in operation as of last week. Located at the intersection of Highways 175 and 34, the new building provides a space for corporate events, conventions, meetings, formal events and more.
The 20,000-square-foot center is currently housing the Kaufman Chamber of Commerce, KEDC, and Senior Connect. Additionally, the facility will serve as a venue for people of the community and the surrounding area.
“We’re not limiting the rental of the unit to just our citizens,” said Kaufman City Manager Mike Slye. “This was a long-needed asset in the community.”
The total cost of the remodel was $3.3 million.
The new tenants are looking forward to using the expanded space. The Kaufman Chamber of Commerce will host its annual banquet and fundraising auction at the center.
“This will allow us to have our events at the same place we work, which is very convenient,” said Chamber CEO Anne Glascock. “Kaufman has needed a space that’s this big and this nice for events.”
Senior Connect will provide many new services for local senior citizens. The new facility features a large commercial kitchen, capable of preparing hundreds of meals each week and providing more services to the community as the population ages.
“This gives us a huge sense of permanency,” said Director Melinda Polk.
Additionally, the Civic Center is now home to the senior center, featuring an exercise room, a computer room, and a library.
Due to safety protocols surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, a ceremonial ribbon cutting and grand opening has been delayed. The city hopes to hold a formal opening with guided tours at the appropriate time.
“We would love to host (an opening),” stated Slye. “We will. It’s a function of when we can do it safely.”
The city is proud of the new facility and excited of all it offers Kaufman citizens.
“It’s another asset to our community in which we can all be proud,” said Slye. “It provides for another outlet for additional activities, whether it's a family reunion or a community event. We hope our community embraces it and takes care of it. We intend for this building to last generations.”
The Kaufman Civic Center is currently able to host events at 50% capacity, per state of Texas regulations. The city has restricted occupancy to 25 people for events that do nothave a health and safety plan.
The location for the Kaufman Civic Center opened when First Baptist Church of Kaufman relocated from its South Washington location. Landmark Church of Christ moved into the former FBC facility and remodeled it. These moves left the Landmark building, located off Highway 175, available.
“This was a win-win-win situation,” Slye said, adding that city officials are looking forward to when it can be available for more public uses.