The message was understated, even silent, as a gaily dressed mime occasionally beckoned to patrons.
Balancing plates overflowing with salads and sandwiches provided by Glory House Catering, guests circulated through the offices where a 3D model and artist’s rendering of the proposed center were on view.
They were then entertained by Jason Castro of Rockwall, whose journey to fame on ‘American Idol’ led him to a fourth-place finish in 2008.
Castro, laid back in trademark dreadlocks, told the crowd that he hoped Irving would build the Center, “because I usually travel with my whole band, not just Stephen [Kanicka, backing him on guitar]. We’d love to be able to play there.”
Emcee David Margulies of TDI observed, “It will be a unique venue. There isn’t something like this here now, and there’s only going to be one. So one of the issues we’re trying to resolve is, will somebody else do this first? This isn’t like car dealers, where you can have one on every corner. One of them will get built somewhere, because it is a good idea; a cutting edge idea. If it goes in somewhere else, then Irving will have an empty lot and those tax dollars will go somewhere else.
“Other communities are looking at this. We’re hoping Irving will do this, since they’re far ahead of everyone else right now if they keep the process moving.”
Conversation among the guests revealed a careful optimism. “They’re preaching to the choir here,” said Oscar Ward.
“It needs to happen soon, because the price of construction goes up daily,” observed Ed Bowers. “The
longer it drags on — well, I’m just about breathless now.”
Fred Odell believes the project should be built, the sooner the better, but he is concerned about the parking situation, citing Fort Worth as an example.
“When it’s free, you wander in and explore. When it costs you ten dollars just to get in, you think twice,”