SANFORD - The Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center has been included among the largest meeting and banquet facilities in the Triangle, according to a recent report in the July 1 edition of the Triangle Business Journal. The facilities were ranked by square feet of meeting space.
The Wicker Civic Center ranked sixth on the list, with 36,000 square feet of meeting space. The top five on the list are the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, Rush Hour Karting in Garner, N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, and Goels Plaza Banquet and Conference Center in Morrisville.
It has been 25 years since the opening of the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, which annually hosts close to 1,000 events and provides a positive economic impact of over $750,000 annually for the region.
"The Wicker Civic Center has been utilized as a site for many varied events since its opening -- from church services, pottery shows, arts festivals, quilt shows, concerts, dance recitals, wedding receptions, graduation exercises, economic development conferences, and industrial training meetings," said Julian Philpott, Chairman of the Central Carolina Community College Board of Trustees.
The Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center has been the hub of Lee County community life and supported the local economy for 25 years, said current CCCC President Dr. T. Eston Marchant. "With the upcoming expansion and renovations planned for the Civic Center, Central Carolina Community College is proud that the facility will continue to serve future generations as a focal point for the college and community," said Dr. Marchant.
David Foster, Director of the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, notes that the Civic Center is crucial to the Central Carolina Community College mission. "We are often the front door to the College for the community. You may say most students both start and end with us from the time they register here in spring and fall for classes to graduation events held throughout the year," said Foster. "Also, every week you may find student and staff development events taking place ... not to mention the many free and open to the public seminars and training classes offered through the Small Business Center. We also host all of the Lee Early College events.
"For the Central Carolina region, we host a number of corporate, private and non-profit events every year. From Pfizer to GKN to Moen and Coty, we see a lot of their corporate retreats and gatherings, as well as private intimate gatherings like weddings and quinceaneras," said Foster. "Also, regional draws such as concerts, job fairs, dance and martial arts competitions to arts and crafts shows throughout the year. Many of the area nonprofits from the Salvation Army to the Boys and Girls Club to the Lee County Partnership for Children and the Breadbasket hold annual gatherings and fundraisers here. The positive economic impact is over $750,000 annually for the region."
Thanks to the citizens of Lee County, a bond vote passed in November 2014 that will allow for an addition and renovation of the Civic Center.
"We appreciate the fact that the citizens of Lee County recognized the importance of the Civic Center to Sanford, Lee County, and CCCC when the voters overwhelmingly approved the bond package in the last couple of years that included funding for expansion and renovation of the Civic Center," said Philpott. "The expansion of and renovations to the Civic Center will offer increased opportunities to secure more multi-day events as well as having multiple groups or organizations utilizing the facility on the same day. Our hope is that this expansion and increased utilization opportunities for the Civic Center will also result in more hotels, restaurants, and other businesses locating in Sanford and Lee County. This would not have been possible without the public's strong support of the College and its understanding of the Civic Center's importance to the community as it moves into its next 25 years of serving Lee County citizens and the people who visit here."
The 9,600-square-foot expansion will include three breakout rooms, a large open Gallery space for vendor set-up, and a 1,800-square-foot commercial kitchen classroom for the Culinary Arts Department.
"Everything that's coming and being renovated are things our clients are telling us they want to see to make their events here more viable to what their needs are. So there is a big emphasis on meeting space improvements and technology updates coming with the addition and current existing space," said Foster. "Certainly another bright spot is the Culinary Arts academy that will be housed here in the new addition, teaching and training some of the College's future bright minds that will soon enter the hospitality industry."
For more information on the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, visit the website at www.dawcc.com or call 919-776-0345.
The Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center has been included among the largest meeting and banquet facilities in the Triangle, according to a recent report in the July 1 edition of the Triangle Business Journal. The facilities were ranked by square feet of meeting space.