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RSCVA Approves Upgrades to Convention Center, Appoints Board Officers

By Carla O'Day
Reno Sparks Convention Center
Reno Sparks Convention Center

Image: Carla O’Day.

The Reno-Sparks Convention Center is getting a face-lift, which includes cost-saving LED lighting approved Thursday by the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) board.

Known as light-emitting diodes, advantages of LEDs include lower energy consumption and longer lifespans.

This bid is for the purchase and installation of new lighting fixtures in all convention center event halls and includes the services for application of refund from NV Energy for putting in energy-efficient lighting. The cost is $561,576 with a contingency amount of $28,000. Sparks-based Triumph Electric will perform the work.

A separate contract to refurbish restrooms for men and women in Halls A and B went to Reno-based Ranger Construction for $416,448, with a contingency amount of $41,000.

Restrooms in Hall A currently receive the most use, according to RSCVA. Finishes, accessories, partitions, and ceiling tiles will be removed. New ceiling grid, tile, partitions between stalls, flush valves, and ramp sinks will be installed, according to the bid award.

Work on Hall B restrooms includes removal of existing countertops, vanities, stall partition fronts, and installation of new ramp sinks.

RSCVA is in the process of turning over operations of the convention center, 4590 S. Virginia St., to SMG Worldwide Entertainment and Convention Management. Expansion is also something RSCVA officials have been eyeing long term. The 53-year-old center is 759,161 square feet, according to the Washoe County Assessor. About 500,000 square feet of it is used for single-level exhibition and meeting space.

Tentative suggestions for the building include expanding exhibit space by 225,000 square feet and putting an additional 75,000 square feet of meeting rooms on a second level. A parking garage is also under consideration.

Convention and trade show operators have told the RSCVA the small size of the convention center has been a deterrent to holding events in Reno.

In other action, the board reappointed Washoe County Commissioner Bob Lucey as chairman and Sparks City Councilman Ed Lawson as vice chairman for the next two years. Lee Dillard, vice president and general manager at Harrah’s Reno, will serve as secretary/treasurer.

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