The Independence Events Center is looking more and more like a Roman ruin, only with every passing day the round structure grows larger.

The Independence Events Center is looking more and more like a Roman ruin, only with every passing day the round structure grows larger.

“If you’ve driven past recently, you’ve seen the seating bowl going up,” said Tim Saxe, the site’s project manager for J.E. Dunn, whose constructing the center. “It’s almost halfway complete.”

Saxe said the erection of the exterior wall panels has also begun.

“Those are the two most visible items,” Saxe said. “We’ve also laid a good portion of the concrete slab that will be the floor of the main concourse.”

The groundbreaking for the $54 million, 5,800-seat center occurred Sept. 16 on the southwest corner of Interstate 70 and Missouri 291.

With an anticipated completion date of November 2009 the center, overseen by Global Entertainment Corporation, will serve as a multi-purpose center open to sporting and concert events along with community functions such as graduations, trade shows and meeting spaces.

The center’s chief tenant will be a franchise team with the Central Hockey League with a second sheet of ice for community activities including figure-skating programs and youth hockey leagues.

Saxe said the weather has caused a few setbacks, but nothing substantial.

“Certainly with the weather we’ve lost a little bit of time, but we’ll account for it,” Saxe said.

Saxe said there’s still a lot of underground utility work yet to be completed.

According to the Independence Public Works Director John Powell, who is responsible for the site’s infrastructure needs including sanitary sewer and storm water drainage, said he’s running on schedule.

“We’re substantially complete,” Powell said. “We should be ready for the parking lot in the spring.”

He said the overall plan for the center is no different from the original blueprint last summer.

“So far, it’s just as we envisioned it would be,” Powell said.

For more information about the center, visit the Web site www.independenceeventscenter.com.