CHALLENGE. Hockley County, Texas, a rural community with a rich ranching and farming culture, set out in 2009 to realize a decades long goal to develop a multi-purpose event center to serve the city of Levelland, the county and West-Central Texas. The region had been without an adequate space to host livestock shows, community gatherings, concerts and other events, causing community members to drive hours to reach the nearest facility of this kind. The Populous design team was asked to create a space that was both flexible and efficient. Because the Mallet Event Center would serve as the community’s primary event space, banquet hall, arena and expo hall, the space had to be designed with reconfiguration and adaptability in mind.
INNOVATION. The $15 million facility is flexible, functional and impactful. It required innovative zoning to maximize the efficiency of the space. Each portion of the 152,000 square foot building can function on its own and do so with sustainable operations practices in mind.
Design elements are as functional as they are visually appealing. The event center’s design takes inspiration from the area’s vernacular architecture while providing a new twist with vivid colors, a two-story stone entry and oversized ventilation cupolas that serve to direct air flow within. With a colorful façade and locally sourced materials, Mallet Event Center is carefully tailored to the varied needs of the Hockley County community and reflective of the rural community’s culture.
IMPACT. The project’s feasibility study estimated the building would have a financial impact of as much as $48 million on the local community over 25 years. Since opening in 2012, the Mallet Event Center and arena has become a destination, attracting events and concerts and drawing visitors from surrounding communities. Those who visit Levelland for events like farm equipment shows, trade shows and livestock events impact the local economy through hotel stays, meals and other purchases.