Grand Opening of Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce Building

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce held a grand opening on June 6, 2007, for it's new headquarters.

The $4 million building is at the center of Bowling Green's downtown, located on the corner of 7th Avenue and College Street.

"The future of Bowling Green never looked brighter," House Speaker Jody Richards said to the crowd of more than 200 people.

The building represents the first major construction in the proposed Circus Square district.

"The Chamber holds the key to the community's lifeline," former Chamber Chair Rick Kelley said.

More than 200 people showed up for the ribbon-cutting for the facility. The building includes 17,460 square feet of space, a double-height glass entry vestibule, and state of the art technology in meeting rooms and offices.

"It's such a blessing to come to work in this facility every single day and it is like night and day compared to where we were," Chamber President & CEO Jim Hizer said.

"We're confident this building will heighten our community's appeal and boost our standing as a leading community," Building Committee Chair Doug Gorman said.

"I think it is a wonderful day for the community. The Chamber of Commerce is our economic development engine for Bowling Green and Warren County. They chose to build this wonderful new building in downtown Bowling Green that shows their faith in our revitalization downtown," said Cheryl Blaine, Downtown Redevelopment Authority Executive-Director.

For one organization, the new building is an upgrade to their home. When it was decided that the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce needed a new home and transformation, there was no question of where to relocate.

"Downtown Bowling Green is the place to be. It's the heart of Bowling Green and Warren County," Blaine said.

There was one problem however - the future location of the building was already the home of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a fraternal organization that gives aid to those in need and are involved in a variety of civic and philanthropic efforts.

They have been in the Bowling Green area since 1838.

"We were just worried that we might not be able to relocate because we couldn't get enough money to build us a hall," Odd Fellow Trustee Earl Denning said.

Rather than making this group move, a compromise was made and the Odd Fellows were given a new home inside the brand new Chamber of Commerce building.

"it's a whole lot better than what we had," Denning said.

The new building is a both a preview of what's to come for the downtown area and Circus Square Park, and a fresh start for this old organization, who are just happy to be included.

"Just being in the building and having more people come by all day and see our hall and we can meet and talk to them and just tell them what we're doing," Denning said.

For more information on the Odd Fellows you can call 270-842-4236, or log onto http://www.ioof.org/

For more on the new Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce building, you can call 270-781-3200, or log onto http://www.bgchamber.com/

The Chamber is located at 710 College Street and is open Monday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


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