Commissioners remove 'McAlester' from Expo Center name

·2 min read

Oct. 15—Pittsburg County commissioners have removed the word "McAlester" from signage attached to the Expo Center.

Metal signage attached near the building's main entrance on its south side now simply reads "Expo Center" with an empty space where "McAlester" used to be.

Asked about the removal of "McAlester" from the Expo Center signage, commissioners acknowledged they ordered the action.

"We took that down," said District 2 Commissioners Kevin Smith.

They plan to replace it with something — but Smith said they have not yet decided on exactly what to put in its place. During their meetings, commissioners call the building the Pittsburg County Expo Center. However, Smith said commissioners have not yet decided if that's what they want to officially name it.

Its original name is the Southeast Expo Center. In 2001, the city started operations at the site after obtaining a 30-year lease from the county at the cost of a dollar. Over the past few years, the cit\y began calling the facility the McAlester Expo Center and put signage in place reflecting that name.

Earlier, this year, county commissioners contacted City Manager Pete Stasiak and told him they were terminating the contract between the county and the city and were taking over the Expo Center operations themselves.

Smith said he's not sure how the name change from the Southeast Expo Center to the McAlester Expo Center came about.

"The city done it; I don't know by what authority," Smith said, noting that while the city had the facility under lease, the county still retained ownership.

Although the "McAlester" signage attached to the building has been removed by the county, other evidence of the city's tenure remained in place.

At the entrance to the site off U.S. Highway 270, the word "McAlester" remained on the tall LED sign, leaving it to read "McAlester Expo Center" as of early this week. Commissioners said they plan for that sign to also come down too and would have already removed it, except for one thing.

"We didn't have a ladder big enough to reach that one," Smith said.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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