Friday, Aug. 14, 2009 | Few people have a longer institutional memory about San Diego’s Convention Center than Convention Center Corp. President and CEO Carol Wallace. She came to San Diego in 1991, 18 months after the convention center opened, and she guided the center through a previous, $216 million-expansion that opened in 2001.
For the last eight months, The Mayor’s Citizen Task Force On The San Diego Convention Center Project has looked at expanding the Convention Center again, increasing exhibition space by almost 40 percent or 200,000 square feet. At $917 million for the expansion, including a proposal to build a hotel, it would be the city’s costliest construction project to date.
At the task force’s last meeting, it approved a draft report that favors expansion. The task force is scheduled to vote on the final report at its meeting on Aug. 31.
In this week’s chat, Wallace discussed the project’s importance, cost and how the city could foot the bill.
There are three infrastructure projects that the city is talking about. This, the Civic Center and the central library. Make a case for the Convention Center as being the top priority out of those three.
We are a revenue-generating project. I support the library and have since the day they talked about building a new library. I support a new Civic Center. I think those would be great, iconic pieces for San Diego.