The Vance County town's future hangs on an eight-acre development calledEmbassy Square.
Like many small towns around the south, downtown Henderson shows the painof losing tobacco and textile jobs.
That is why civic and business leaders are buzzing about a majorrevitalization project.
Supporters call Embassy Square salvation for a dying small town. FormerGov. Jim Hunt endorsed it.
This is the most important project in the history of this community," saidSam Wilson of the Embassy Square project.
The project will focus on economic growth and ever-increasing educationalshortfalls.
"To reach out to the underprivileged kids and to bring them at an earlierage and pair them up with senior citizens and show them what an educationcan be," Wilson said.
Embassy Square will replace dilapidated buildings with new state-of-the-artfacilities from an art gallery and performance hall to a theatre and a40,000-square-foot public library.
The current library is located in an old grocery store. There is no shelf space leftfor books and only nine computers to serve as Henderson's only public accessterminals.
The project got a jump start when Henderson resident Minerva McGregorydonated $1 million toward it.
"Because of that we are going to have a facility here that will lift ourentire community and we are just on cloud nine," said former mayor ChickYoung.
The funding has reached the half way mark. Construction is set to begin thisspring.
Once the project get under way, the library will be the first priorityfollowed by the art gallery.
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