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The last day of the year is a do-or-die deadline for Center in the Square. “We have to finish by Dec. 31,” said Center President and General Manager Jim Sears.
If major construction isn’t finished by then, it could prevent Center from qualifying for crucial historic tax credits in 2013, which wreaks havoc with financial schedules. It could also further delay the return of Center’s Campbell Avenue nonprofit tenants – the Science Museum of Western Virginia, the History Museum of Western Virginia, the Harrison Museum of African American Culture and Mill Mountain Theatre.
Fast as the constant construction is moving, it’s fallen behind what Center officials hoped for.
“It’s not that anybody is dragging their feet or not doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” Sears said. He still expects to meet the deadline, and insists that the grand opening remains on track to take place in May.
The looming deadline notwithstanding, as part of a downtown Roanoke renaissance that has seen its share of disappointments, the pressure is on for Center in the Square.