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Leaders, Public Get 'Inside' Look At New Raleigh Convention Center Plans

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RALEIGH, N.C. — For the first time on Tuesday, the Wake County Board of Commissioners and the Raleigh City Council got a look at what the interior of the city's

new convention center

will look like.

Featuring a wide staircase, use of daylight in the design, and possibly a lobby floor of North Carolina granite, the inside of the new Raleigh Convention Center is getting good reviews.

"My hope is that when people walk into this building, they will feel a sense of awe from the reflections in the glass," said Betty Lou Ward, a Wake County commissioner.

City and county leaders still have some sticking points on what the building will look like from the outside.

Thomas Crowder, a council member and architect, does not like the look of the main entrance.

"I think it needs to get simplified, yet articulate some of the main points," he said.

Should it be more traditional or more contemporary? Wake Commissioner Kenn Gardner is an architect, too.

"I don't think we need to rebuild the state Capitol or Memorial Auditorium. We can use the elements and build something that reflects the year we are in," he said.

The public was invited to offer input into the designs, as well.

The two boards are expected to vote on a design in October.

The $180 million project is scheduled to be complete by 2007.


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