by Sam Hieb
High Point University president Nido Qubein tells a forum at the High Point Country Club the children’s museum that will be part of High Point’s downtown stadium/mixed-use catalyst project won’t be built next to the city’s stadium, as originally planned:
“The museum has to have ample parking. A mom taking her children does not want to walk across streets. She wants to park her car, walk in a safe environment, enter the door, enjoy the museum and exit accordingly. And we’re very, very thoughtful about that,” Qubein said. “If this is a museum to serve children and families, it’s got to adhere to these kinds of things. It’s got to be safe. It’s got to have plenty of space, and so on.”
Nice to be concerned with families’ safety and all that, but then there’s also another reason, which may or may not be more pressing, depending on your point of view:
Moving the site out of the 11-acre stadium zone around Church Avenue and Pine Street will allow for more land to accommodate the 50,000-square-foot museum and attached parking, he said.
It also will free up more property that can generate tax revenue for the city to help it pay off the bonds on the stadium, said Qubein, who chairs the downtown transformation executive board that is helping steer redevelopment around the stadium.
“To put the museum right there on ‘beachfront property’ — i.e. smack dab at the entrance of the stadium — would deny the master developer the opportunity to lease that to someone who’d benefit more from it and therefore create tax revenue for the city,” Qubein told a forum at the High Point Country Club. “So, with that in mind, the museum is not going to be there. It’s not going to be within two to three blocks of there. But it will be in downtown High Point.”
All I know right now is it’s been quite the rainy lately, which makes the spring 2019 opening date even more ambitious.