After more than a decade of planning, work has begun.
Park Theatre renovation is under way as a portion of the back parking lot has been sectioned off for the contractor to use and a subcontractor has already inspected the marquee.
On Tuesday morning, crews were inside the building doing repair work to the medallions and tearing down a brick wall.
“Park Theatre renovation has started,” said McMinnville Public Works director Bill Brock. “It’s very little and not obvious construction, but the contractor is on site.”
W&O Construction was hired by the city for the $2 million renovation. A crew has begun restoration of the medallions that were partially destroyed during a prior renovation that turned the historic theatre into offices. They also demolished an interior back wall for an expansion to build a stage.
“The mayor and I have had several meetings with the contractor,” said Brock.
“We’ve taken a look at the marquee,” Brock continued. “We’ve met with the subcontractor who has done several marquees. They say it’s in good shape, while most they have seen are in pretty rough shape. They will let us know that cost this week.”
Restoration of the marquee was included in the building’s renovation estimates. However, the exact cost has yet to be determined by a subcontractor.
A barrier hindering access to the parking lot has already drawn complaints from the public.
“It was brought to my attention today the public access steps to the parking lot are blocked by the safety barrier,” said city attorney Tim Pirtle to Brock. “Can you take a look at that and see if it can be reconfigured to allow people to use those steps to access the public parking lot?”
Brock stated, “There are two sets of steps back there. I can look at it and see if we can move the barrier around.”
“And,” said Pirtle, “it looks like we are sometimes over on the bank a bit and we need to be cognizant of where our perimeter is as it relates to that alley that their drive-thru traffic uses. I just wanted to bring that up.”
Brock stated, “We own the whole parking lot but yes, we are past that. They needed it. We tried to take as little of the parking lot as possible. He told me, and the mayor, that he needed that much room to work around the building. He is going to use the Blue Building parking lot for staging, also.”
Renovation is estimated to take one year.