Regarding the April 27 article "Jacoby wants river real estate": It is imperative that the city of Augusta take a proactive stance to acquire the former Golf Hall of Fame property to build a state-of-the-art performing arts center to assist in strategically grooming Augusta to become a world-class city.
Augusta has long been the mecca of the CSRA and should live up to her calling. A city that seriously wants to advance its prominence and spawn sustained total growth often gives great attention to preserving and advancing the performing arts to help facilitate expansion.
Why? Leading industries often use this as a factor in their prospective location feasibility studies. World-class businesses look for support and presence of the performing arts as a measure to attract and retain professional and critical skills. Educational institutions depend on the performing arts to strengthen and develop the cultural, intellectual and interpersonal capacities of their students, which often leads to a more diverse and tolerant community.
Building a multi-use minor-league baseball field and moving the team from its current location, which is a great one, or developing high-end residential units, incorporating restaurants and retail space only provide limited long-term economic growth for the Augusta community.
We must explore and find ways to attract and welcome the world's communities to Augusta to spawn economic and quality job growth. We can do this with elegance in grand style by erecting an aesthetically appealing performing arts center with several venues.
A state-of-the-art performing arts center could prove to be the best overall use of the riverfront property, because it would serve as the single best catalyst for sustained economic growth and the transformation of Augusta.
Let's challenge ourselves to become a city of excellence by developing Augusta into a premier center for performing arts and entertainment.
William "Gil" Gilyard III