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Center in the Square is seeing more visitors than ever three months after reopen

By Nadia Singh, nsingh@wdbj7.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:26:02 AM EST
Updated On: Aug 16 2013 11:46:13 PM EDT

It's been three months since downtown Roanoke's Center in the Square celebrated its grand re-opening

ROANOKE, Va. -

It’s been three months since downtown Roanoke's Center in the Square celebrated its grand re-opening.

The center made $30 million worth of changes, the most noticeable ones are right at the front door.

But are these changes getting people through the doors and spending money?

"There have been more people in the atrium in the last three months than I have seen in 20 years,” Center in the Square General Manager Jim Sears said.

That's good news for the seven story, 200,000 square foot cultural complex, home to four of the area's museums and a mostly free attraction, new and improved for visitors and natives alike.

"The atmosphere is really nice, everyone is really excited, it's all about learning and everyone really enjoys themselves. I've never had a bad experience ,” visitor Emily McGuire said.

Jim Sears has been part of Center in the Square for 20 years. He says he's amazed at the renewed interest.

"Before we did this, at 4:10 you wouldn't have anyone in there. It's a flood of people all the time,” Sears said.

And that's not all. This space on the 6th floor of the building, once envisioned for a restaurant, can now be rented out for private functions. Another way, Sears says, the landmark is adding value to the city.

"It's a positive feature for the public because the public can rent the space and have weddings or a corporate reception and they pay us for the space,” Sears said.

For most though, it's the tiny wonders found here that keep them coming back.