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The Top 10, Nos. 4 and 3

4. Downtown hotel

The prospect of a new hotel on the city-owned Dogwood lot was the last major news story among many important developments downtown in 2018. Hands On! children’s museum announced an expansion into a storefront presence, the Grey Mill project advanced toward groundbreaking and the City Council finally committed to build new public restrooms on Fifth Avenue West. Responding to the city’s invitation, two developers proposed multi-story hotels, both with restaurants and convention space, on South Church Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues. There’s still a long way to go before the city brings this one in for a landing — if it does at all — but we’re further down the road than we’ve been in decades.

3. Hendersonville High School

The Hendersonville High School construction saga has taken up permanent residence on the Top 10 list, making our hit parade of news for four years running. As the year closed, the School Board was close to receiving revised design plans from new architects. Plans that preserve the historic Erle Stillwell-designed classroom building and auditorium won the unanimous endorsement of the School Board in September. Now the architects are working on more detailed design and cost estimates, something that will be critical when the School Board sends the plans over to the Board of Commissioners. Before the two boards reached détente, School Board members complained that commissioners had misled them on a pricetag gap and commissioners voted to dump the whole project. If the final vote on an HHS renovation-new construction plan comes 2019 — possible but not guaranteed — look for the issue to maintain its spot in the Lightning’s Top 10 a year from now.