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Front Page » Top Stories » Johnson Promises No Surprise In Final Bill For Arts Center

Johnson Promises No Surprise In Final Bill For Arts Center

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Written by on October 19, 2006

By Charlotte Libov
Carnival Center for the Performing Arts officials may need more money to pay off final construction costs, but Assistant County Manager Bill Johnson promises ‘no surprises’ when all amounts are tallied.

The county has given the center $10 million to settle outstanding claims, but, said Mr. Johnson, "I will go back to the commission later this year with the final numbers to get their approval on what we need to close out everything.

We’ll be asking for some additional assistance, but there won’t be any surprises. It’s not going to be a huge amount."

Whether the additional money will be available through Omni Community Redevelopment Agency funds is being assessed, he said.

A temporary occupancy permit was issued for the $460 million building Aug. 4, and crews are trying to finish any remaining work by the end of January, Mr. Johnson said.

At a construction committee meeting last week, members said they were delighted with the building.

"It feels good to see the halls filled with people having fun, but the grand opening is just the beginning. We have nine events scheduled over three nights. This is the new Miami weekend. This is what it’s all about," said Jarret Haynes, the arts center’s chief operating officer.

Construction director Ron Austin said the focus now is on minor items. "We’re in the punch-list stage now, working on dings, dents and scratches. Our architect and design consultants are preparing a list of everything we need to make the final certificate of occupancy, but the building is so occupied now that we need to work around everyone using it."

"It’s like a present to the city. and it’s all coming together so we can tie it with a bow," Mr. Johnson said. "Hopefully, we’ll get everything done by New Year’s Eve so we can break open a bottle of champagne with a big hurrah."