Work to the Park Theatre is scheduled to include a facade removal to the front of the building that will start today, but actual renovation may not begin until this summer.
McMinnville Mayor Jimmy Haley and city administrator David Rutherford gave an update on the Park Theatre project last week after meeting with project engineer Peter Mets.
“We looked over several things we could do to move forward with the Park Theatre project,” said Haley. “I think most people are anticipating good things to happen there and are ready for it to move forward as quickly as we possibly can.”
Rutherford said, “We tried to keep the time frame in as narrow a band as possible. If there are going to be any changes to the plan, they need to be made before the end of January so the project will be ready to go to the state fire marshal for approval. Then, we are looking at about six to eight weeks before we are ready to bid.”
Before the end of January, city officials will be reviewing the current plans with Park Theatre Group members to make sure there are no changes that need to be made. They will also be undertaking a look-and-see project on the front of the building that begins today.
“Peter Mets thinks the metal on the front of the building needs to be removed as soon as possible to get a full evaluation of the damage to the front of the building and how much the renovation will cost,” said Haley.
Metal was placed on the front of the building during a prior renovation. Renovation of the original facade will be done, but the extent of the work will not be known until the metal front that was placed over it has been removed.
“If the art deco facade is in good condition, it will basically be skim coated and will be good to go, probably,” said Haley. “If repair needs to be done, we need to include that in the plan.”
Rutherford suggested McMinnville Public Works could do the work, but Vice Mayor Ben Newman questioned the delicate nature of the repairs.
“I guess we have guys in that department careful enough to remove the front. I’m just worried about compromising the integrity,” said Newman. “With old buildings, it’s kind of like pulling a thread on a sweater. Once you pull one, it starts to unravel. The work might be more than we expect.”
McMinnville Public Works director Bill Brock says the sidewalk in front of the Park Theatre will be blocked off Wednesday morning and scaffolds placed for the work to begin.