It was Caesar, in Suetonius’s account, who said of his fateful crossing into Italy that ‘the die is cast,’ the Latin of which comes out as ‘alea iacta est.’ There’s scholarly debate about the saying, but this is how most have come to know it — that a small game-piece has slipped from one’s hand, the result now beyond one’s control.
So it is, mostly, with Whitewater’s Innovation Center: the venture’s success or failure, like the landing of a die, will take a course apart from easy alteration. The principal design of the project will determine its future. Some are sure of its success; I am equally sure against it. Some are certain this was the right use for these millions; I am equally sure it was not.
And yet, and yet… it will be years from now, when the rhetoric for or against the public project is long forgotten, before one will know whether it has, after all, produced those thousand new jobs promised.
Perhaps ten years from now, when we are all older and grayer, we’ll see what has become of this.
When we look back, from that time to this, there will be more than a single building to consider. We will then be able to ask ourselves if, after all, a beautiful but struggling community felt this project’s influence.