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Wed January 11, 2006
New Design for Wilmington Convention Center
By Catherine M. Welch
Wilmington, NC – The redesign includes a public park area along with other changes.
The new design expands the exhibit hall to 25,000 square feet and includes three meeting rooms.
Designers shrank the adjacent parking garage to make sure it doesn't tower over the center and chose to brick the garage's first floor so it blends with surrounding former railroad buildings.
New drawings show the convention center covered by an asymmetrical vaulted roof.
Architect Rod Herderer says they have chosen to build with limestone instead of brick to give the center a civic feel.
When we looked at studies of brick and compared them to limestone, limestone seems to be the better more noble more civic material to use on this project it's a higher quality material than brick is.
Herderer says public outcry following the last design helped inform the new look.
The convention center's price tag has gone from $50 to 52 million. And the city says its hotel room tax will cover costs.
The city council is scheduled to make its final decision at either the January 17th or February 7th meeting.