Lynchburg, VA - Ever since we got word that Lynchburg may be getting a civic center, the project's been the talk of the town.
There is excitement and concern around the Hill City. There's a lot of traffic on Candlers Mountain Road already, but people are also eager to have more entertainment options closer to home.
"We have needed a civic center for many, many, many years," said Robbie Shaner.
"O yeah, we need a civic center. It would be nice," said Alison Adams.
But a civic center would mean more traffic, and Candlers Mountain Road already has plenty of that, says Lynchburg Council Member Joan Foster.
"There's a lot of traffic on that byway there. So I think that immediately, if this becomes a reality, I think there has to be a plan for that," said Foster.
Liberty University is a major financial player backing the civic center. Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. says the Hill City's ready.
"Lynchburg is a big city not to have a civic center. Most cities this size, a lot of smaller cities, have civic centers," he said.
LU would not own the center. The city would. But it would take the city-LU partnership to get this off the ground.
"This community and Liberty University, if they have to have a civic center and have it be a successful one, we'd have to work hand in hand for sure," said Foster.
Many are ready for that partnership.
"It's going to help the hotels, and it's going to help the restaurants too," said Adams.
While others still have some doubts.
"I'm trying to figure out how they are going to fit it all in that space?" said Shaner.
LU was able to buy the Sears building because come January Sears is closing that store. At this point, the civic center is just an idea. LU could scrap it and move their online school to the property instead.