Renovation of the St. Paul Civic Center is expected to cost $60 million and could be partly financed by a bond issue, civic center officials said.

David Rosenwasser, executive director of the civic center, said the overhaul would create 150,000 square feet of continuous, open space for exhibitions and 50,000 square feet of meeting room space.

The civic center currently has about 170,000 square feet of space, over half of which is taken up by its three-story Wilkins Auditorium building.

"In order to stay competitive in meetings and conventions, we need additional space," Rosenwasser said, adding that one-floor halls are preferred by many convention organizers.

A final renovation plan is expected to be unvelied in January, he noted.

No decision has been made as to what would back the bonds. In addition to bonding, the project could be financed with proceeds from a combination of the local option tax, state grants, and corporate funding, he said.

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