A tale of two cities and two city projects:
Early in 2011, Greensboro Mayor Robbie Perkins said that the new performing arts center should be built downtown and should be a public-private partnership. He said the private sector could raise about $10 million to pay the extra cost of building the performing arts center downtown rather than at the Greensboro Coliseum.
In 2012. plans were publicized for a performing arts center to be built where LeBauer Park is today, but the public didn’t like the plans and the decision was made that there wasn’t enough land available at that site.
A new site was bought, land cleared, the method of bidding the contract was changed and reportedly the actual construction of the performing arts center will begin soon and will be completed by 2020.
Now let’s take a look at a public-private partnership right next door in High Point. In the summer of 2017, High Point decided to build a baseball stadium. In August, High Point asked the Guilford County Board of Commissioners for $11 million and didn’t get it. High Point forged on ahead, got its financing in place and plans to open the baseball stadium for the 2019 season.
So the question for the taxpayers in Greensboro is, why can High Point move ahead with a public-private partnership for a large entertainment facility in months, while it takes Greensboro years?
High Point decided to build its stadium in the summer of 2017 and construction is starting this spring. Greensboro decided to build a performing arts center in 2011 and construction is starting this year.
Maybe it would be helpful if a group of Greensboro city councilmembers attended a couple of High Point City Council meetings and took notes.
Maybe Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan should shadow High Point Mayor Jay Wagner for a couple of days.
Or maybe Greensboro likes talking about what it’s going to do and in High Point they just like to get things done.