08/08/06 — Suddenly — A realistic, doable, approach to the Paramount

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Suddenly — A realistic, doable, approach to the Paramount

A few months after the old Paramount Theater burned, an ad hoc committee reported to Goldsboro’s City Council that to rebuild it would cost some $12 million.

With that staggering price tag, the idea was dead on arrival.

Since then, private citizen David Weil, whose family has been unsurpassed in contributions to the betterment of our community, has been quietly exploring how the idea of a downtown theater might be salvaged.

Monday night, he provided City Council with his findings.

A larger, well-equipped theater but one not completely sacrificing the exterior appearance of the old Paramount, can be built for a little over $5 million. That would be “turn-key.” And a million dollars already is available from insurance on the old structure.

Weil’s proposal was not a shot from the hip. It was well-researched and documented — thanks to the contributions of time and financial support from private individuals and businesses.

It incorporates detailed architectural plans prepared by Dunn and Dalton of Kinston with input from Charles Costler, a New York expert on theater design. Details and cost projections were made by one of Goldsboro’s oldest and most widely respected construction contractors, T.A. Loving Co.

Weil told the council that he would personally be responsible for generating a substantial amount of financial support from the private sector. That would be in addition to what he already has expended in time and personal funds.

So the city finds itself looking a project that might run well under $4 million in public funds instead of an unthinkable $12 million.

From behind the scenes and the fertile mind and big heart of a soft-spoken private citizen suddenly has emerged a proposal that appears “doable.”

Our public officials cannot do other than give this idea serious, positive exploration, focusing how to do it. Indeed, much of the work already has been done at no cost to the city.

Published in Editorials on August 8, 2006 11:25 AM