(June 28, 2019) Pending expansions at the Ocean City convention center continue to inch into view, with construction currently set to begin next spring with the project completed by early 2022.
In May, the Maryland Stadium Authority issued bonds totaling $24.5 million to finance a third phase of expansions at the facility, which follows earlier expansions in 2012 and 2015. Opened in 1970, the building was initially enlarged in 1996.
Convention Center Executive Director Larry Noccolino said an extensive meeting was held last week with construction management firm Barton Malow, architects Becker Morgan and City Engineer Terry McGean.
“Towards the end we discussed timelines,” he said. “If all goes as planned, it looks like we will break ground in April 2020.”
The third-phase expansion involves adding 30,000 square feet of exhibit space to the main hall, which will increase the functional space to 90,000 square feet.
Noccolino said project-related meetings are being held bi-weekly, with target dates continuing to be solidified.
“Barring any unexpected delays, we should be ready for business sometime around Jan. 3, 2022,” he said.
In 2016, the Maryland Stadium Authority produced a feasibility study that reported adding 30,000 square feet of exhibit space would result in between $2.6 million and $3.5 million in additional tax revenues for the state, and up to $1 million for Worcester County.
Regardless of when the work winds down, Noccolino said the construction will not affect operations, which he credited to diligent staff and an understanding client base.
“It will be business as usual,” he said. “As with phase one and two we will experience no interruptions for clients.”