At the county commission meeting Tuesday, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs spoke out on her recent $45 million proposal for the Tourist Development Tax money to go toward completing the last wing of the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, saying it was time to finish it for all the good it had done for the community.

The Dr. Phillips Center, Jacobs said, has become more than just a vehicle to watch entertaining live theater performances and music – it has become, in the wake of Pulse, a center for vigils and community mourning.

“The Dr. Phillips Center has exceeded expectations for what it set out to be,” she said. “After Pulse, the building has become incredibly valuable. The community came together and mourned. It’s more than just a place to watch art — it’s the heart of Orlando.”

In the wake of the tragedy and how integral the Performing Arts Center has become to Orlando, she said it was of utmost importance that they put money toward completing the Steinmetz Acoustic Hall.

“I never imagined that the Performing Arts Center would bring such value to our community,” she said. “That only amplified once it opened. There were great shows there, but it’s also our center, our point of healing around the Pulse nightclub attacks.”

At a Sept. 30 Tourist Development Council meeting, Jacobs is expected to speak on the matter.

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