Work on Richmond Performing Arts Center Halted by City

Classic Arts News   Work on Richmond Performing Arts Center Halted by City
The city of Richmond, Virginia, has ordered that work stop on its new performing-arts center, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

City officials say that the Virginia Performing Arts Foundation, the organization behind the center, has failed to get the necessary inspections required by state building codes, and that construction cannot continue until the permits are reapproved by the city.

In addition, city officials are concerned that the foundation doesn't have enough funds to finish demolition of part of the Carpenter Center, and that interrupting the work could endanger the remainder of the historic theater. Bill Farrar, city spokesman, said that although the foundation claims to have renewed its demolition permit, the city did not agree to such an extension.

Brad Armstrong, president of the Virginia Performing Arts Foundation, said that there is enough money, between the foundation's currently raised funds and pledged funds, to cover the current demolition costs, including steps to protect the Carpenter Center.

This is not the first time the foundation and the city have disagreed over the project. Last April, the foundation revealed it would not make its fundraising deadline and asked the city to waive the deadline entirely. The city did, but in July, mayor L. Douglas Wilder said he would not release any more city funds for the project, which needed, in his estimation, to be scaled back.

The new center is intended to be a home for the Richmond Symphony and other groups.

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