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City, County Leaders See Vision Of New Raleigh Convention Center

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The final designs for the new Raleigh Convention Center were presented and approved Tuesday.

What it looked like just a few months ago was criticized by several city council members. Some were concerned about the look of the roof and the view from McDowell Street. Philip Isley compared it to a side of a gymnasium. The design team made changes.

"I'm more comfortable with the design features," Isley said. "My hope is it will ultimately look like what we think it will look like in the 2008 timeframe when it's actually built."

When it is built, there will be a grand entrance and eye-catching lobby. There is room for large car shows and lots of dancers in the ballroom. The ballroom even has a unique ceiling that can light up several different ways.

"I need all the help I can get to see what something in the future is going to look like," county commissioner Tony Gurley said.

The final designs come just one day before the official start of the multimillion-dollar project. A ceremonial groundbreaking will be held Wednesday.

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