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Jan 10, 2011 7:33 PM by Amanda Venegas

MetraPark progress starts at the top

BILLINGS - Progress continues at the state's largest concert venue.Monday afternoon, Q2 got a peak inside the MetraPark arena that was destroyed in the Father's Day tornado.

At this point, crews have made major strides in the acoustics department. New and improved rigging and acoustical panels on the ceiling have been hung, which will allow for the booking of bigger acts and better sound quality. Crews are putting in a new heating and air conditioning system as well, and that will improve the insulation of the building. Additional bathrooms and a skylight feature are being added. Officials say it's nice to see the progress.

"That's exciting and now we're not just talking about what we can't do, it's like hey, it's not going to be far away with what you can do," said Bull Dutcher, MetraPark General Manager. "As far as booking events, people are calling us about concerts."

"I know a lot of people have said to us, we just don't see anything happening since the weather broke and when it cold itself, but there's over 12 different contractors here doing work and this place is has been hopping," said Yellowstone County Commissioner Bill Kennedy.

Officials are hoping to start putting in seating in about six to seven weeks.

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