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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Council approves design of music venue
Project will be put out to bid
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Staff Photo: Rocky Mount Town Council has approved the final design plans for a performance center in the old Lynch Hardward building on South Main Street.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer

Rocky Mount Town Council voted 4-2 Monday night to approve the final design plans for a proposed performance center in the former Lynch Hardware building and put the project out to bid.

Two council members, Bobby Moyer and Bobby Cundiff, who had expressed opposition to spending the money for the project in earlier meetings, voted against approving the design and putting the project out to bid.

"This is not the time to do this because of the economy and it will put a burden on the taxpayers," Moyer said.

But Mayor Steve Angle disagreed.

"It's not going to get any cheaper," Angle said. "I believe it will generate increased traffic since Rocky Mount is a venue on The Crooked Road. I just see a boon to the area. I see nothing but good from this."

Cundiff said he is not against a music venue, "but I just don't see spending money on this. And I don't like the way it was handled. It's matter of principle. To be consistent, I can't support it."

Hunter Green with Hill Studio in Roanoke, who did the proposed performance center design, walked council through the various aspects of the design plans Monday night, displaying drawings of the interior and exterior of the building.

The interior layout of the performance center concentrates on function, seating, windows, sections and performance types.

The street level interior provides space for a theater and elevated stage, seating, lobby, gallery space, concessions and restrooms.

The lower level provides space for a banquet hall, kitchen, restrooms, flexible meeting rooms and storage.

The performance center will host different music genres and become a regional live performance destination, according to the design plans.

The town purchased the former Lynch Hardware building for $246,750 with the intent to create a performance center, according to Assistant Town Manager Matt Hankins. The projected cost is $1.4 million.

The town expects for half of the money to come from historic tax credits; $275,000 from the town; and the rest from grants and donations from foundations.

The tax credits are expected to generate from $600,000 to $700,000, Hankins said.

Rocky Mount is the eastern gateway to the Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail, which winds from Franklin County to Dickerson County.

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