Locations named for proposed downtown performing arts center

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A task force figuring out the possibility of a downtown performing arts center has named some possible locations.

The two locations named are the YWCA Building near the downtown library and children's museum and a parking lot near the News and Record building.

There are also unnamed locations up and down Elm Street, which would put it closer to bars and restaurants.

All 55 members of the task force met for the first time on Thursday.

Ross Harris, who is a part of the task force, said City Council has told them to focus on building the center downtown.

"We've heard of the YWCA site, some other sites, the News and Record site, a site on North Elm and a site on South Elm, so there's a lot of discussion about where it might be in downtown," Harris said.

Matt Brown, director of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, wants to build a new performing arts center on the site of the aging War Memorial Auditorium.

The task force will present its preliminary report to City Council on May 15.

The task force is looking for both public and private funding to build the center, which is projected to cost tens of millions of dollars.

Harris said downtown needs a performing arts center, but Bill Hancock, publisher of 99 Blocks Magazine, said he wonders about the timing of the proposal.

"There will have to be a bond referendum for about $30 million or more that voters will have to approve. It will be a slight tax increase for people--well worth it--but I wonder if this is the right election year to do that in."

There will be public forums between now and May 15 for people to ask questions and give their input.