WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Renovations to the MPEC and Memorial Auditorium were big discussion topics in Tuesday morning’s Wichita Falls City Council meeting.

Councilors voted and approved two big-ticket projects: The renovations to the MPEC’s exhibit hall come with a price tag of roughly $3.5 million, as well as, preparing building and construction documents for Memorial Auditorium that will cost roughly $900,000.

For 26 years the MPEC has been the home to several annual events that we’ve all grown to love, but after nearly three decades, Mayor Stephen Santellana said it’s time for a much-needed facelift.

“We’re excluding some areas that didn’t make the scope but basically all the carpeting, all the walls, the bathrooms, the ceiling tiles, and sound barriers, anything that see in there when you walk through and see the aesthetics of it all, that’s going to change and try to blend it with what we’re doing with the hotel,” Santellana said.

Mayor Santellana said once the hotel and convention center is up and running they are expecting a big increase in foot traffic through the MPEC’s exhibit hall.

“This is a good time when the hotel and convention center is built. If we’re going to be replacing carpet and walls and bathrooms, we can kind of make all that flow together and create some synergy with the look of both the hotel and the convention center. So, when they walk out and they walk into the MPEC, we’ll have some of that same look go into it,” Santellana said.

Synergy between looks and the ones building it. Santellana said instead of hiring more outside contractors, why not use the one that is already there?

“That individual already has a lot of those materials ordered and already has those sources already sourced. Plus, a lot of those subcontractors are going to be working, and I mean just flood into our building, that way you work in conjunction rather than to have two separate contractors trying to do the same work can have one contractor doing all of that,” Santellana said.

With the exhibit hall still operational, Santellana said they will work around current conventions in order to not disturb those visiting.

Santellana said once the contract documents are in place and a plan is approved to work around current conventions, construction will begin.