MISD Director of Communications Denise Meyers said this will be the first conference space in the Magnolia area.
“We have already received phone calls from community members about when they can book the facility,” Meyers said.
However, she said the official opening date and rental rates for the center have not been announced. The district plans to designate someone to run the facility as well.
The 35,110-square-foot space—located near Magnolia Parkway Elementary School on FM 1488—will offer a main ballroom that can be divided into three smaller spaces as well as two conference rooms, a commercial kitchen, a concession area, storage and office space, Meyers said.
Although the center includes office space, district administration offices will remain at the Celeste Graves Education Support Center, Meyers said.
The $6-million-plus project was funded through MISD’s $92 million bond referendum approved by voters in 2015. The space was originally scheduled to be complete in March but faced a few construction delays, district officials said.
After Hurricane Harvey hit the Greater Houston area in August, displacing numerous individuals in the region, Meyers said the district opted to ensure the center could serve as a long-term shelter.
The MISD board of trustees approved an additional $606,896 expense in September for the conference center to include shower facilities for men and women as well as a generator. In the case of a disaster, the relief organization manning the shelter would be responsible for supplying temporary beds and other supplies, Meyers said.
In addition to serving as a shelter, the new center can accommodate MISD’s annual convocation for teachers and faculty held each August as well as other activities, such as small-group training sessions and sports banquets.
Meyers said the space can also be used for luncheons, fundraisers and other community events, like those held by the Greater Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce.
“The central location of the new district center will provide an opportunity to bridge the east and west sides of our community,” GMPCC President Sandy Barton said.