04/19/11 — A loud hint: Sounds like city needs another plan for Arts Council building

View Archive

A loud hint: Sounds like city needs another plan for Arts Council building

See that really large white elephant trundling down Ash Street?

That beast represents the unanswered questions surrounding the former home of the Arts Council of Wayne Council, and questions about whether it is a smart move to take on such a project.

Hear that noise that sounds like a distant rumbling getting ready to crescendo into a full-blown warrior cry?

That is what is going to happen if the Goldsboro City Council does not come up with a better idea than dropping $600,000 into a building that is going to need extensive repairs.

When the preliminary inspection of a building indicates that to "fix" it will require major structural -- and expensive work -- and that there is no sense in repairing the windows because they will just break again, alarm bells should go off.

Especially if you are the elected body in charge of the funds provided by city taxpayers.

So even though the final report is not in, somebody in city hall had better be coming up with a better idea than simply taking on what is beginning to look like a serious white elephant -- or find a way to pay for it that involves a whole lot of grants and private funding.

There is no way that the majority of the citizens of Goldsboro are going to rally around yet another project that is going to cost big bucks at a time when the city is facing a deficit and taxpayers are concerned about their own bills.

We repeat -- an Air Force museum is an excellent idea and one that deserves exploring.

But now is not the time for any project that has the potential to become an albatross instead of a boon to this community.

If we want to build a museum or remodel an existing building to become an Air Force museum, let's mobilize this community's private interests to help us create one.

Raising the money and seeking grants and other opportunities to start such a project is a wonderful way for Air Force retirees, corporate interests and private citizens to create a long-lasting monument to the role the Air Force has played not only in this community, but in the defense of this country.

City and county officials would need to be behind this move -- and the community ready to embrace it.

Just because there is a building available is not a reason to rush what could be a real asset to this community -- if it is done right.

And by "right," we don't mean buying a building that screams "money pit."

Published in Editorials on April 19, 2011 10:44 AM