The Expo Board and Taylor County Commissioners selected Parkhill, Smith & Cooper to create a comprehensive Master Plan to modernize and expand facilities while creating a state-of-the-art, pedestrian-oriented entertainment venue.

The Expo Center was built in 1953 over the old Abilene airport. It’s located on more than 110 acres at the intersection of Highway 36 and Loop 322, in the southeast portion of Abilene. A range of buildings populate the site from the Expo Coliseum, rodeo competition venues, cattle pens, display and concessions buildings. However, the building locations and their disrepair hampers management’s ability to efficiently run the facility and attract new events.

Three major principles guide the design. The separation of visitors from livestock. The relationships of various venues to one another and the paths and nodes they represent. Lastly, the creation of green space, planters and accent paving to break up the vast expanses of asphalt and concrete. Each strategy helps define and enhance the relationship between each venue and heightens the pedestrian experience. The separation of pedestrians and automobiles also enriches the experience as well as the ability for the Expo to accommodate larger events, which aids in the creation of large-scale and intimate gathering spaces, each connected by major, intermediate and minor walks.