Local News

Durham Loses on Bid to Host Art Institute

Posted December 13, 2000

— A legislative committee has recommended that the Terry Sanford Art Institute be built in West Raleigh. The decision left some people in Durham very disappointed.

"Durham's got a range of possibilities, and I can't believe that there's nowhere that wouldn't be within the range of consideration," says State Senator Wib Gulley, a Democrat from the 13th District.

"He wanted it there very badly, and he had a strong argument, but the people who are raising the money didn't want it there," says Senator Marc Basnight, the president pro tem.

A $200 million fundraising goal depends on the institute being based in west Raleigh near theN.C. Museum of Art.

The addition would create a vast arts corridor, adding to the dream of the late governor and senator Terry Sanford. His son, Terry Sanford Jr., made it his personal mission.

"I think that this was a good thing today," he says. "It seems as though the site selection process is going to come to closure soon, and they can begin their money raising immediately."

The argument from Durham was that Raleigh is already arts-heavy, and that west Raleigh is already traffic-heavy.

"It is a good location," Basnight says. "Once you review the particular plans that we're going to all embrace in finding ways to transport people in the future, this center is for tomorrow. It's not for today."

The Council of State must formally approve the committee's recommendation, which could happen next week. If approved, art center supporters will have give years to raise the necessary money.


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