Tuesday, July 10, 2007

All of the leaves have gone Green

Every time the girls and I head off to church, we drive past a massive construction site on the Sonoma State University campus. Rising from the hardware-strewn landscape is the nascent structure which, according to the attractive billboard on the corner hillside, will someday blossom into the Green Music Center, a state-of-the-art concert venue rivaling the finest performance halls in the nation.

But I'm not holding my breath.

As you'll learn from this excellent article in today's San Francisco Chronicle, the Green Music Center has become both the biggest white elephant in the history of Sonoma County, and the albatross around the neck of SSU President Ruben Armiñana. Ten years in the making, with no completion date in sight, and bleeding cash like a stuck bank vault, the Green is a local laughing stock — to everyone but the faculty of SSU, who are sick and tired of losing much-needed educational funds to President Armiñana's pet boondoggle.

Of course, as a musical performer and patron of the arts myself, I'd love to see the Green completed. Heck, I'd love to sing on its stage someday. But I'll be older than Tony Bennett before that happens. At this writing, the Green is only about one-quarter finished after a decade in the works. Its budget has boomed from a tidy $20 million or so to a figure rivaling the gross national product of half the Third World. Even though construction proceeds in occasional fits and starts, no one — including Ruben Armiñana — has any clue where the megamillions needed to wrap up the project are going to come from.

I know one thing: They're not coming from my wallet.

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2 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Anonymous Donna offered these pearls of wisdom...

It would appear that the Green rivals the Big Dig in Boston. They both have an infamous expanding budget and enormous time spans to complete the project. The Big Dig is now complete; did I mention it leaks?

12:23 PM  
Blogger kgwhit offered these pearls of wisdom...

all symphony/music halls that are associated with non-profits are typically under-budgeted and take much longer to come to fruition. Hopefully it will bring good things to all in Sonoma County.

Check out my blog about GMC if you want.

9:10 PM  

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