Cortland Theater Project Receives a Boost From State Grant
As we kick off the New Year the local arts scene has received a healthy shot of state funding, nearly a half million dollars will support efforts to create a downtown theatre in Cortland and ongoing renovations at the Center for the Arts in Homer.
For the past two years the Cortland Repertory Theatre has been transforming the former Recreation Bowling Alley on Port Watson Street into a space that will house a year round theatre as well as the acting companies box office, set design, and costume shop.
In Phase 1 of the project CRT has renovated the front of the building for box office space and administrative offices. The building has a new front entrance and updated facade.
CRT received another $200 thousand late last month through the competitive regional economic development grant program. The new round of funds will go toward phase 2 of the project which includes heating, venting and air conditioning updates as well roof repairs and construction of the actual theater space with seating for 125-150 people.
Right now CRT’s Theatre is in the main pavilion at Little York Park, the company is forced to close in the winter due to a lack of heat in the county owned pavilion.
The new Cortland theater will include moveable seats that will allow the theatre to be multi use space that can accommodate shows, dances, or other community events.
Cost for the second phase of the project is estimated at $500,000, the roof repair will begin in the spring.
Phase 3 will include construction of the scenery and costume shops. The entire renovation is budgeted $2.3 million. CRT continues to raise money for the project, and is activly trying to sell its warehouse space on Franklin Street.
The Homer Center for the Arts was awarded $200 thousand dollars to make improvements to the former church as well as perform some streetscape work; the funds are aimed at supporting the scenic Route 90 by way project. The center would serve as a visitor’s center and museum on the historic highway.