DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Not much groundwork has taken place in efforts to change the face of downtown Dothan since the city’s presentation of the city center in April.

“People really haven’t seen any construction activity yet but what I wanted to let the commission and the public know today is that we are working very hard on the project,” City Manager Kevin Cowper said.

However, the city has begun working on the gateway into downtown — recently demolishing the former car wash along Highway 84 east.

As for the immediate downtown area, over the last several months the city has been doing foundational work such as architect surveys and background and engineering studies like figuring out how big the arena should be and how to accommodate traffic.

“Preliminary we are looking in the 6,000 seat size there are arguments for it to be bigger or smaller but we want to dig deep and see what’s best for the Wiregrass market,” Cowper said.

The first visible construction towards the future of Dothan could take place shortly after the beginning of august — with renovations to the Dothan Opera House and pedestrian improvements in the event plaza — which is where the Dothan Utilities building sits.

That means staff would have to move to a new location when that time comes.

“We are evaluating a number of different opportunities across the city new location for Dothan utilities for customer service center and we are also looking at installing more payment kiosks for customers,” He said.

Administrative staff in the civic center will also have to relocate as the civic center will become the cultural arts and innovation center.

City manager Kevin Cowper said this is the first step of a challenging process but he believes this project will put Dothan on the map for years to come.

“It will bring new venues to downtown, new attractions for people to visit, spend money here,” He said.