The Vision Iowa Board today announced an agreement for a 70-million dollar investment in a recreation and entertainment project for downtown Des Moines. The “Capital City Vision Project” includes a 17-thousand seat arena, convention facilities and the renovation of Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Other components of the plan include a new home for the Science Center of Iowa and the construction of a Hall of Pride to honor Iowa high school athletes and performers. Angela Connolly is the Chair of the Polk County Board of Supervisors. She said she couldn’t find the words to express the appreciation to the Board for granting the award. Connolly says the project will serve all Iowans.The Vision Iowa money is a 55-million dollar grant and a 15-million dollar forgiveable loan. Polk County spokesman Phil Roeder says the county has agreed to help fund the construction of a new Des Moines Library and help refurbish the home of the World Food Prize as part of the agreement. Polk County has agreed to spend 15-million dollars on those projects. Roeder says they’re already moving forward with the new arena and convention area that’ll be known as the Iowa Events Center.It’ll take about 30 months to complete the construction, so the center should be open in March of 2004. Roeder says Polk County’s total input in the project will be 130-million dollars.
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