Center in the Square
Question: What is your favorite attraction?
Tara: The atrium, because it is free to the public and beautiful, and creates a way to generate revenue through grants.
Question: When did CinS open?
Tara: We opened in 1983 and have been running 35 years in December
Question: Why did you decide to work here?
Tara: It probably sounds cheesy, but I wanted to make a big impact. before i worked here, I was CEO of the adventure club for six years, so, I like feeling that I’ve made an impact or that I have made someone’s life better. Here, we have 500,000 visitors annually, so that’s a great opportunity for me to make a change in the world.
History of Downtown Roanoke, CitS: In the late 60s, early 70s, Downtown Roanoke was grungy, with prostitutes running up and down the streets and buildings that were not cared for and exposed to the elements, so the local business leaders got together and agreed to try and change things because their was no appeal to go downtown, therefore no appeal to shop at local businesses. They came up with the idea to vote on what to do to turn things around, and came up with the idea of this building. A multicultural education tourist hub, we provide a building and space, like a landlord, and we offered a few years free to get businesses to join in. We fund raise so that we can afford to give them the space rent free or with a very low rent charge. We offer five buildings to ten nonprofits.
Largest sponsors: Grand Home Furnishings, Steel Dynamics, Kroger, Carilion, Bergland
David: I enjoyed thew trip to Center in the Square because they have a lot of interesting museums, exhibits and facts. Also, they are a nonprofit and that’s cool. My favorite part of the building was Kids Square, a new attraction for kids where there’s a miniature Town, Forest, Theater, and Salon, a Sensory Sensitive area for children with sensory difficulties, and a Dig Pit for families and their kids to play inj a large sandbox.
Leslye: I really liked visiting Center in the Square because the history behind it was very cool. There are so many different aspects of Center in the Square that keep amazing you, so it’s hard not to like it. I liked how they include all type of ages in their building, not many places do that. My favorite part was having VIP access to the coral labs in the basement.
Nevaeh: The interview was nice, and she told us a lot of facts. I definitely would like to visit again. Mt favorite part was the roof. It had such an amazing view of Downtown Roanoke.