by Sam Hieb
About three weeks after reporting on the state-of-the-art sound system that will grace Greensboro’s proposed $78 million downtown performing arts center, the N&R reports (front page, above the fold—bigger than Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim’s comments slamming Gboro as an ACC Tournament site–but not much bigger) reports –surprise— there might be another delay in the center’s grand opening:
The Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts may be facing another holdup, a pattern that prompted donors as recently as three months ago to consider delaying their pledges.
On Wednesday, project organizers Walker Sanders and Kathy Manning backed off their recent statements that the center would open in the first quarter of 2019.
Both cited their unfamiliarity with the permitting process for the $78.1 million downtown arts center — a process that began more than nine months ago with little progress until last week.
Both referred questions about the opening date to Matt Brown, the director of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex and the Tanger Center’s project manager.
“I don’t know,” Sanders said when asked whether a first-quarter 2019 opening date is still realistic.
Obviously the angle here is whether or not the private donors picking up more than half the cost of the center are getting antsy as the lot on the corner of North Elm and Lindsey streets continues to sit with nothing but a chain link fence around it. Sanders assured the N&R that “donors are not walking away from this project” while simultaneously adding the reassurance that the Community Foundation is “‘“100 percent behind’ the $38.5 million the donors’ have promised — meaning that the foundation will cover any gaps between what has been promised for the project and what actually comes in.”
Which in turn makes one wonder what if the Community Foundation is not able to cover those gaps. We know what will happen in that case, and we’ve known it since this idea was conceived.