Convention center to be even bigger and greener than thought
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Wilmington is thinking big when it comes to construction of the new convention center. "With this new expansion it's going to give us so much more versatility, as far as being able to put different groups in there,” said Kim Hufham. Construction bids came in under budget, leaving City Council with 5 million dollars to play with. As a result, the convention center will be bigger, and be made with sustainable building materials. There will be 4,500 square feet of meeting space, split into three areas: a ballroom, exhibit room, and smaller meeting rooms. The entire convention center project is being paid for by a special room occupancy tax, from hotels stretching from 5th Street to the river and from the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge to the Isabel Holmes. "It's going to be a place that people want to go to because it overlooks the cape fear river, and hopefully overlook a marina to the north of us, and that's one of the attractions,” said Steve Bridges, the convention center project manager. The new expansion and the "green" transformation will push the opening of the center back about three months. It's now expected to open in April of 2010.

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It is not surprising that politicians will spend more money even when presented with the opportunity to save money for the taxpayers.