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The $5.4 million Crossroads Pavilion Event Center, located just off the Highway 60 bypass on Sheldon's eastern edge, held its first event on Sept. 2 as part of Sheldon's Celebration Days. A reception for donors takes place Thursday.

SHELDON, Iowa | Donors who helped make the new Crossroads Pavilion Event Center a reality on the east side of Sheldon will come together at the site on Thursday for the second official event in the new facility.

The $5.4 million regional events center, constructed near the Highway 60 bypass where it intersects with Highway 18, is expected to host more than 130 events during its inaugural year. That number may grow as the exposure of the structure balloons.

"It will host a variety of events, ranging from corporate events to weddings, wedding receptions, meetings and more," said Brittany Behrendsen, the general manager hired by the City of Sheldon to oversee the facility. Behrendsen, a native of Pocahontas, Iowa, and a graduate of Iowa State University, came to Sheldon from Minneapolis, where she served as senior meetings coordinator for the American Academy of Neurology.

Behrendsen steps into a place that immediately impresses with 20-foot-tall glass windows lining the south side of the structure, offering a view onto a pond constructed when the bypass was built in the last decade. A large patio space and green area lend themselves to outdoor receptions as well.

The Crossroads Pavilion Event Center was constructed via a mix of private and public funding, including more than $1 million that was raised locally. The Iowa Economic Development Authority also awarded the endeavor $840,000.

The site opened on Sept. 2 as officials hosted a gathering during Sheldon's annual Celebration Days festival.

"Our donor event on September 21 (Thursday) will be for the building donors and those who raised money for the purchase of a baby grand piano," Behrendsen said. "The program is a social with a performance by the Hegg Brothers."

The Event Center welcomes guests through the front door, an area touched off with the presence of a fireplace and mantle. Once inside, guests may use the entire 6,174 square feet of the Great Hall to seat 410 for a banquet or 750 in theater seats. The Great Hall may also be divided four ways into spaces called the Prairie Queen Mill Room (2,843 square feet), the O'Brien Room (1,616 square feet), the Sherwood Board Room (478 square feet) and the Green Room (212 square feet).

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Brittany Behrendsen, general manager of the Crossroads Pavilion Event Center in Sheldon, Iowa, is shown in the front lobby of the new site, an area highlighted by the fireplace. The $5.4 million facility opened on Sept. 2.

"We can have four events going on here simultaneously," Behrendsen said.

Sheldon's newest addition helps add luster to a tract of land Sheldon's leaders purchased 15 years ago as the Iowa Department of Transportation set out to build the bypass on the eastern edge of the city. Development has cropped up on both sides of the highway where the 65-acre Crossroads Industrial Park continues to welcome new business.

Sioux City-based Bomgaars, for example, opened a new store of some 37,000 square feet in March. Space had become limited in the company's downtown location.

"They more than doubled the square footage of the facility they had in town," said Curt Strouth, community development director for the Sheldon Chamber and Development Corporation.

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Local donors who raised more than $1 million for the new Crossroads Pavilion Event Center, including donors who chipped in for the purchase of a baby grand piano, will gather at the site on Thursday for a reception and social hour. The new facility opened on Sept. 2.

The new Crossroads Pavilion Event Center is just a short walk from the Hilton Garden Inn. These structures are also within a short walk of the Crossroads Plaza, an area of restaurants and convenience stores that blossomed soon after the bypass opened.

For information about Crossroads Pavilion Event Center in Sheldon, call 712-631-4336 or see www.crossroadspavilion.com

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