RALEIGH, N.C., July 27, 2005 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) — Progress Energy and the city of Raleigh announced a 20-year partnership to rename the BTI Center the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, effective immediately. The Progress Energy Center includes Meymandi Hall, Fletcher Auditorium, the Kennedy Theatre and the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.
“This is an investment in the future of Raleigh, Progress Energy’s hometown,” said Bob McGehee, chairman and CEO of Progress Energy. “The Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts is a premier destination and a key component in enhancing the reputation and economy of the Triangle region. We are delighted to add our name to this world-class performing arts center.”
In making the announcement, Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker described Progress Energy as a good neighbor and an outstanding corporate citizen, investing in education, the environment and economic development, not only in Raleigh but throughout its service area. He continued that this history of outstanding citizenship, coupled with it being the only Fortune 250 company headquartered in Raleigh, makes Progress Energy an outstanding partner for the city of Raleigh to team with for the performing arts center.
“Today is another striking example of the vital corporate leadership that Progress Energy is providing for downtown revitalization and for the entire city,” Meeker said. “Year after year, we can count on them to support and enrich the life of this community.”
Progress Energy is committed to supporting economic development and growth in the communities it serves. In addition to its efforts in downtown Raleigh, the company works closely to help recruit business to North Carolina and the Triangle.
Progress Energy’s support of the arts helps to improve the quality of life that is so important to new and existing businesses. Progress Energy has invested more than $465,000 this year in the North Carolina Symphony, the North Carolina Opera Company, the Carolina Ballet and the North Carolina Theater, some of the organizations that perform in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
Progress Energy’s support for these organizations will sponsor performances at the center, but also will bring the arts to local schools. Each of the organizations will use a portion of their Progress Energy grants to implement outreach programs for public school students across Progress Energy’s North Carolina service area. Children from the Kids on Broadway program of the North Carolina Theatre, a recipient of Progress Energy funds, performed at today’s event.
“We are proud that our contributions will help bring the wonderful arts programs performed at the Progress Energy Center to a broader audience throughout North Carolina,” McGehee said.
Progress Energy’s commitment to downtown Raleigh goes far beyond the arts. Construction of Progress Energy’s new building, Two Progress Plaza, was completed in 2004. The building houses company employees and retail tenants and will include residential development in the future. Progress Energy has more than 2,500 employees in downtown Raleigh.
“Progress Energy has been the leading partner with the city in the revitalization of downtown Raleigh,” Meeker said, pointing to Progress Energy’s new office building with its mixed-use development as a catalyst for additional investment and development in the center city.
Progress Energy’s commitment to communities is also evident in its Florida service area. The company announced plans earlier this year for a new development in downtown St. Petersburg, Fla., to house a new headquarters for Progress Energy Florida, a hotel, condominiums, retail space and parking. Progress Energy is also a supporter of the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts and the Orlando Museum of Art, Progress Park and many other arts organizations in its Florida service area.
Progress Energy’s investments will total approximately $378,000 per year. The company will pay $5.6 million to the city of Raleigh over the 20 years for naming rights to the performing arts center complex. The company is also paying ITC DeltaCom, formerly BTI, $1.9 million for assignment rights.
“ITC DeltaCom continues to be a partner in the Raleigh community, and we look forward to continuing to support the city through our $50,000 annual in- kind gift to the performing arts center through 2009,” said Lee Kimball, vice president of marketing at ITC DeltaCom. “We are pleased that going forward our interaction with the city and the Progress Energy Performing Arts center will be more aligned with our business strategy.”
About Progress Energy [ www.progress-energy.com ]
Progress Energy, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 250 diversified energy company with more than 24,000 megawatts of generation capacity and $9 billion in annual revenues. The company’s holdings include two electric utilities serving more than 2.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. Progress Energy also includes nonregulated operations covering competitive generation, energy marketing, natural gas exploration and fuel extraction.