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Cumberland board to consider ‘guiding principles’ for proposed Crown Event Center

The commissioners also will consider qualifications that will be used to solicit architectural services for the project.


The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday is scheduled to consider two issues related to the proposed Crown Event Center.

The board will consider approval of the “guiding principles’’ that were endorsed by the Crown Event Center Committee. It also will be asked to approve the Request for Qualifications for architectural services for the project.

The board meets at 9 a.m. in Room 118 of the Judge E. Maurice Braswell Cumberland County Courthouse.

The Crown Event Center Committee consists of Commissioners Jeannette Council, Jimmy Keefe and Glenn Adams. During a committee meeting on Aug. 16, members received an update on the center from MBP Carolinas, which serves as the “owner’s representative” for the project.

County Manager Amy Cannon earlier this year told commissioners that having an owners representative will make the process of building the center faster and more efficient.

The proposed facility will replace the aging theater and arena at the Crown Coliseum Complex on U.S. 301 Business. The two facilities are scheduled to close in 2025.

At the August meeting, MBP presented the “guiding principles,’’ which are intended to provide the foundation for the development of the Crown Event Center. In essence, they are project-specific values based on recommendations from a community engagement process.

The guiding principles were first presented to the committee in May and were further refined and revised based on a community engagement process held on July 15 and 16.

The Crown Event Center Committee approved the revised guiding principles at its Aug. 16 meeting. Also at the meeting, the committee directed MBP to prepare a Request for Qualifications for architectural services that the full board will consider.

The guiding principles approved by the committee call for several things, including:

  • A local and regional asset that builds upon existing economic development infrastructure and is a catalyst for existing and new businesses to flourish.
  • A venue that enhances and elevates the community as a premier destination for entertainment, events and gatherings.
  • A quality, evolving and efficient venue that provides a first-class experience with a lasting impression.
  • A venue that provides a premier, welcoming and accessible experience available to all patrons.
  • A flexible and functional venue with multiple spaces to accommodate a variety of programming.
  • Affordable spaces to accommodate local and regional cultural programs hosted by schools, universities, art organizations and community organizations.
  • An engaging community amenity that is financially self-sustaining.

The county staff recommends that the board approve the guiding principles and the RFQ for architectural services.

In other business, county Health Director Jennifer Green is scheduled to give the board a detailed briefing on monkeypox and the county's response to the disease. No-cost vaccinations and testing are available at the Department of Public Health.

Currently, there are nine cases of monkeypox in Cumberland County, according to a memo in the board’s agenda package.

Statewide, there are 332 cases of monkeypox with the following demographics:

  • 99% of all cases are among men who have sex with men.
  • 37% among 18-29-year-olds.
  • 54% among 30-49-year-olds.
  • 68% among African-American men.
  • 87% are non-Hispanic.

The board also is scheduled to go into closed session for real property acquisition, attorney-client matters and personnel.

Jason Brady covers Cumberland County government for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at jbrady@cityviewnc.com.

Cumberland County, Board of Commissioners, Crown Event Center