BOSTON-The state House of Representatives here approved a bill allocating nearly $30 million in funding to the proposed convention center being developed on the south Boston waterfront. The money is important, as it will allow the center to restore a number of features that could improve its marketability.

The money is interest accrued on bonds issued to finance the project. The state treasurer’s office issued $400 million in bonds to finance the construction but projected cost overruns of nearly $100 million prompted convention center officials to put a hold on spending while the center was redesigned. In those six months, interest was accruing. “It was found money in the sense that the convention center had not spent at the pace that was originally financed,” Mike Travaglini, first deputy treasurer for the state tells “The project has not spent at the clip that was initially projected and the interest has accrued on the bonds that were intended for the center.”

As part of the convention center’s cost-cutting measures, furnishings, soundproofing, escalators, and other improvements were eliminated. The state treasurer notified state officials of the money in the account, suggesting that it could be used to restore some of what was cut. According to Travaglini, legislative approval was required to use the funds because the money was beyond what had been stated in the original bill on financing the center.

Reportedly, furnishings for more than 32 meeting rooms will be able to be restored with this money as well as additional escalators and elevators and a number of electrical and telecommunications boxes in the building. The restored features are important for marketing the facility, which has already come under fire from some local critics who contend that the center is not necessary. The center reportedly has no firm bookings yet.

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