Wednesday, August 5, 2015

On Greensboro's TPAC and some obviously bogus math from advocates who stand to profit

Came back from Chapel Hill on I-40 and took Lee Street to where the TPAC is going to be

13 lights, 4.2 miles.

Went up Murrow Blvd. to Friendly, took a right on Elm.

Drove by Ray Warren Homes and boarded up houses on Lee.  Passed by English etc...
"The city released the latest estimate
for building and equipping the center: $58 million,
about $8 million more than the original planned cost.

We don't have wage inflation
and commodity prices have cratered, 
so how were they so far off on the cost?

Greensboro Coliseum Director Matt Brown,
along with donor representatives Kathy Manning and Walker Sanders,
...arrived at the $58 million design figure in April,
after making dozens of cuts both large and small.

If they already made cuts,
how is it the price tag was sold to Greensboro's taxpaeyers
at least 20% off what the advocates said it would be?

they’re pushing architects and professional estimators
for even more cuts to reach $50 million

City Council gave partial control of the center
to the Greensboro Performing Arts Foundation,
a nonprofit organization run by donors.

A 13-member committee
made up mostly of high-dollar donors will approve the design,
a decision that won’t be open to the public.

...the most recent plans call for:

2,941 permanent seats, plus 59 seats in the orchestra pit.

300 more seats than DPAC
with an average household income
of $20,000 less in the Greensboro metropolitan area.

25 extra parking spaces at a cost of $1 million.

How can 25 parking spaces cost $1 million?

Greensboro News and Record

additional sources of funding may be required
in order to insure that all designed programming elements are included.

Coliseum Managing Director Matt Brown

"...a private foundation also partially controls the facility. The foundation also will have the final say on the museum’s design and its final price tag. And, to an extent, how much the public knows.

...taxpayers have not been privy to all of the museum’s finances because it technically is a private organization.

The center is roughly $8 million short of what it needs,
and it will have to shave its budget
[after the cuts already made].

Community Foundation President Walker Sanders

In the beginning, its boosters set the right tone, recruiting a community task force

...a refusal to reveal the salary of a consultant who initially led the project during its formative stages; an initial reluctance to reveal the names of donors.

...its leaders ought to be more forthcoming. And not just some of the time.
Went to DPAC a month ago.  Was at a clean parking garage within 5 minutes of coming off the highway.

A poverty-less visual drive, FWIW, with plenty of security.

When we left, we got right on the highway within 10 minutes.
If a TPAC patron were to drive down Elm Street at 10pm after a show, it's not what most white folks would consider to be a safe feeling scene.

We are going to build a performing arts center very near the poorest part of Greensboro.

There is almost no way to get in and out anywhere near as quickly as DPAC, which was sterile, and had a fake river running through.

White elephant TPAC may be, after being misled by many who stand to personally profit from the project.