By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Park Theatre manager to get $35K
00 Park Theatre drawing
Drawing of Park Theatre

Who will be manager of Park Theatre? McMinnville officials approved $35,000 in the Park Theatre budget for fiscal year 2014-15 on Tuesday night for one, as well as reviewed proposed changes to the scope of the renovation work.
“There are people interested in renting Park Theatre and we don’t have a fee structure or any of that in place,” said Parks and Recreation Committee chairman Alderman Ben Newman. “We need to go ahead and advertise for a manager.” 
In the proposed budget was already $17,500 for one-half the annual salary due to the facility not being complete until February 2015. The original plan was to hire a manager the month before and only one-half the salary would be needed to finish the fiscal year that ends in June 2015.
On the committee with Newman are Aldermen Rick Barnes and Billy Wood. The trio unanimously agreed to increase the $17,500 to $35,000 and go ahead and direct Parks and Recreation director Scott McCord to advertise the position after the full board approves the city’s budget. Second and final reading is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 26.
When it comes to the building’s renovation, McMinnville Public Works director Bill Brock informed the committee of proposed changes. A job site meeting was held by the contractor, subcontractors and architect on Park Theatre renovation. In attendance were Mike Driver and Steve Darrow from W&O Construction, Phillip Massingill (mason), Steve Breedlove (electrical), Bill McDaniel (painter), Peter Metts, president of AEI, and Brock.
The exterior wall adjacent to Diamond Jewelry Company needs to be sealed because it is allowing water to penetrate into the building.
“They will be getting you a price on water weather proofing on the west side of the building,” said Brock. “That wall is allowing water to come through the brick into the building and it’s staining the plaster. They redid the plaster and now it’s stained. They have to back up and redo it again. The price will probably include weather proofing and painting of that wall. It was not in the contract. There is no money in there for it, so it will be an increase.”
On the opposite side of the building, Brock questioned if officials want to remove the cost of painting the brick that has never been painted.
“Even the painting contractor asked why we are painting the brick on a historic building,” said Brock. “So, I’m asking you. Do you want to remove the painting of the brick on this entire side of the building and the rear of the building? It’s in the contract now. We could use that money on the other side of the building.”
The brick that has been painted in the past will be cleaned and painted to match the front of the building and the opposite side of the building.
As a cost-saving measure, the balcony was removed from the scope of work. Brock says McMinnville Parks and Recreation director Scott McCord has already received a request from an individual wanting to rent the entire facility when complete, including the balcony.
“Scott says he has received interest in renting the building next summer,” he said. “They want the entire building. I talked to Peter and I didn’t realize that when the balcony was removed from the original contract it removed all electrical. Everything was removed, with the exception of HVAC. The plaster will be repaired and painted. Everything will be cleaned. It will be like it’s brand new. However, there will be no lighting. If we are going to rent this, there has to be lighting.”
Metts, says Brock, will review the original proposal and get back with the city on the additional cost of running electrical and installing the appropriate lighting in the balcony.
Exterior doors were originally going to be hollow-core metal that were decorative. Brock says a change has been suggested.
“It has been recommended to go with a door that matches the original design of the building,” said Brock. “It’s basically a store front door with painted black frames with “PARK” vertically down both sides of the door.”
The cost difference between the two doors is unknown.
Brock asked committee members what they wanted his department to do with the office area in Park Theatre. In order to keep the cost of renovation under $2 million, officials took the office area out of the work to be performed, an estimated $80,000 cost, and Public Works was instructed to handle demolition in-house.
Barnes commented, “That’s why we don’t need to decrease our taxes. We need to spend it on Park Theatre. We need that money. I would hate to spend $2 million on Park Theatre and it not be finished. If we cut taxes, the next group that has to raise taxes will get their ears chewed off and they will forget the tax cut in 60 days, if it takes that long.”
Haley added, “The 10 cents would cover all this with some left over.”
Newman motioned to place $80,000 in the proposed budget of Park Theatre for the work. The measure passed unanimously.
“We’ve just increased the budget for Park Theatre by about $97,500,” said Barnes, in reference to the $80,000 for renovation and $17,500 for the manager. “That’s half of the 10-cent decrease.”
Mayor Jimmy Haley added, “Now, we’ve got to talk about seats. We took the seats out to get below the $2 million but you can’t have a theater without seats. With the removal of the orchestra pit, the number of fixed seats downstairs is estimated at 250. On the platform, you can have folding seats to expand seating. For weddings and stuff, we will have to have round tables and folding chairs. Upstairs in the balcony, you can put another 300 seats. Those could be folding seats as well. We have to have seats.”
Haley says the original budget included $25,000 to purchase 195 fixed seats. Due to the estimated cost, the chairs will have to be bid out. Until bids are received by the city, the actual cost of the chairs is unknown.
Newman motioned to include $40,000 into Park Theatre’s proposed budget to buy and install 250 fixed seats needed downstairs, an average of $160 per seat. The motion passed unanimously by Newman and Barnes. Wood had to leave the meeting prior to the seating discussion.