The city has posted new rules for use of the building after several rowdy parties at the facility over the summer. Houston Police Chief Billy Voyles asked for the new rules in an effort to stop trouble before it got started.
“We had a couple of weekend parties this summer that sort of got out of hand,” said Voyles. “Their were too many people in the building, the music was loud and it went on way too late that night.”
Voyles said his officers were also called to several fights at the building on weekends and there was even one situation where admission was being charged to enter the building.
“We don’t mind people using the building for events and we don’t mind people having a good time,” said Voyles. “But at some of these events there was an adult atmosphere, there were kids present and we were afraid someone could get hurt. I just wanted to stop that before it happened and I hope these new rules will do that.”
New rules for the Houston Civic Center are:
• No alcohol allowed on city property.
• No cover charge to enter the building.
• No amplified music that can be heard outside the building.
• All events must be cleaned up and the building closed by 11 p.m.
• Building capacity will be strictly enforced.
Voyles said on several occasions the parties went until after midnight and his department saw juveniles walking home in violation of the city’s curfew ordinance.
“And when they got too many people in the building, we saw things getting torn up,” said Voyles. “That building is for the entire community and if we want to keep it someplace we are proud of, we can’t let people tear it up.”
The Houston Civic Center is one of the most used public venues in the community.
Houston City Clerk Janie Dendy said the main room rents for $100 and the kitchen can be rented for an additional $50. The city also requires a $50 clean up deposit that is refunded if the building is left in order.
“That building was built in the mid-70s and it has something going on just about every weekend,” said Dendy. “People use it for family reunions, weddings, birthday parties and church events and we don’t have a problem out of everybody. We just want it to be available for the entire community to use for years to come.”
The Houston Civic Center can be rented by contacting Houston City Hall at 456-2328. An application must be filled out and signed by the person renting the building.
Complete rules and fees for the Civic Center can be picked up at city hall in downtown Houston during regular weekday office hours.