If it’s broken, fix it?

Opinions from an online survey on the future of the Asheville Civic Center indicate public support for keeping the facility at its current location, and enhancing and updating the building to make it suitable for a full range of performances and events.

The survey was offered on the Mountain Xpress Web site from Sept. 7-30, in conjunction with the Sept. 7 forum on the building’s future co-sponsored by the Civic Center Commission, Xpress and the League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County. One verified entry per person was tallied; a total of 138 verified entries were received (along with 35 unverified and thus uncounted submissions).

The informal Web survey (see below) echoes the opinion sample at the forum, where the tally of audience voting showed roughly 69 percent preferring to update the current facility so it could handle a full range of events; 81 percent favoring keeping the same location; and 83 percent in support of considering a private management contract for the Civic Center.

1. Please identify your place of residence by choosing one of the following:
Asheville 81 58.7%
Buncombe County (outside Asheville) 43 31.2%
Western North Carolina (outside Buncombe County) 12 8.7%
Other 2 1.4%
Total 138
2. Which of the following options would you most favor for the current Civic Center building?
Tear it down and do not replace it 5 3.6%
Maintain the building at minimal level with no capital improvements 9 6.6%
Enhance and update the building for a full range of performances, events and uses 94 68.6%
Tear it down and build a new facility in a new location 29 21.2%
Total 137
3. How do you think a local civic center should be funded?
City of Asheville only 8 5.8%
Asheville and Buncombe County 13 9.4%
Asheville, Buncombe County, and the state of North Carolina 7 5.1%
Private funding 11 8.0%
A combination of the above 99 71.7%
Total 138
4. Who should manage event selection and operations at a local civic center?
City of Asheville 29 21.3%
Asheville and Buncombe County 19 14.0%

A regional authority 16 11.8%
A non-governmental, independent, private entity 72 52.9%

Total 136
5. What location would you prefer for a local civic center?
Current location (Haywood Street) 102 75.0%
Near the regional airport 12 8.8%

At a location other than above 22 16.2%

Total 136
6. What type of events would you like to see more of at the Civic Center?
Concerts 117 25.5%
Sports 66 14.4%

Trade/business shows 77 16.8%
Theater productions 98 21.4%

Community events (graduations, celebrations, etc.) 70 15.3%
Other 31 6.8%

Total 459
7. How important is it to have a civic center in the Asheville-Buncombe area?
Very important 122 88.4%
Somewhat important 11 8.0%

Not important 5 3.6%

Total 138

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