The November 20 groundbreaking for the Kanab Center marked a fairly rare occurrence in the world of governmental entities ... cooperation!

“There has been a lot of cooperation between the city, county and school district,” commented Kane County School District Business Manager Cary Reese, of the new convention center becoming a reality.

While Kane County is great at being a tourism destination, planners have shied away from scheduling conventions here due to lack of a large meeting space for training sessions, meetings and events. The Kanab Center is located where the old middle school building used to be on the bend in downtown Kanab.

In opening remarks, Kane County Economic Director Matt Brown praised the school district for its generous property agreement that allowed 13 acres to be donated to this worthy project in benefit of the entire county.

While there was a good crowd in attendance, three individuals representing the school district, city and county spoke briefly about the soon to be built Kanab Center before the ceremonial groundbreaking.

Commission Chairman Dirk Clayson first thanked project manager Matt Brown, saying he had worked hard on design, use and land issues for the Kanab Center.

As for project funding, Clayson said he was pleased the Kanab Center will be built without having to go to the taxpayers. Funding has/will come from Transient Room Taxes (TRT) being saved for the project; a $3.7 million CIB grant/low interest loan, which will be paid for by future TRT’s.

“Today marks new construction going forward,” said Clayson. “It’s a great privilege to be involved in something so positive for the county.”

“This has been an ongoing project,” said Kane School Board President Loral Linton, of the many years this project has been discussed. “We’re happy to be partners with the city and county, but mainly the community.”

Kanab City Mayor Robert Houston said he wanted to thank everyone who had been involved in bringing the project to fruition. “I’ve been asked who’s getting the largest advantage out of this (city, county or school district)? The answer is ... everyone!”

With that, the ceremonial shovels broke ground for the new Kanab Center.