In Wednesday’s (10/14) Miami Herald, Howard Cohen writes about the unfinished $47 million South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, which “squats on Southwest 211th Street in mid-construction with missing glass panels—more than two years after it was to open. It was supposed to be the centerpiece of the new arts venue that has been envisioned as the hub of cultural activity for South Miami-Dade and Keys residents. But the cultural arts building’s signature curtain of glass remains pock-marked with missing glass. County administrators rejected major portions of the project, including that glass wall at the entrance, plus a number of exterior metal panels and stucco work. The latest hurdle: Miami-Dade commissioners faced with filling a huge budget hole and arts organizations clamoring to be funded. The commission restored some grants to other arts institutions by shifting $2 million in hotel and restaurant taxes from the delayed cultural arts center. But the center will still open, officials said. … The $2 million diversion was from the center’s operational budget used for management and programming. The other budget, capital, is used for the cost of building the center and remains untouched, said Michael Spring, the Miami-Dade cultural affairs director who is overseeing the project.”

Posted October 15, 2009