N&R reports “organizers of the 3,000 seat Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts are dropping hints that they’ll need more money.”

The N&R report is based on emails the paper obtained written by council member Tony Wilkins raising questions about the state of the project’s finances:

Wilkins said he already had asked city officials for an update when he learned someone affiliated with the center asked state Sen. Trudy Wade (R-Guilford) for help getting a state grant.

That raised more questions, Wilkins said, since state taxpayer money isn’t part of the $65 million budget.

“I understand members of the Guilford delegation are being contacted about the (General Assembly) assisting with a $10 (million) to $15 (million) shortfall on the performing arts center,” Wilkins wrote in another email last week to city officials and fellow council members.

Someone I spoke with a few weeks ago with knowledge of the construction industry worries the project is moving too slowly and as a result the cost will be inflated considerably. And let’s be real here — Kathy Manning, who led the private fundraising efforts for the center, described it as a “complicated building.” I’m not the brightest guy in the world, but seems to me “complications mean more money, not less.