Grand Junction’s Avalon grand opening announced for Sept. 20 | PostIndependent.com

Grand Junction’s Avalon grand opening announced for Sept. 20

Caitlin Row
crow@gjfreepress.com
Windows are nearly installed on the glass-faced addition of the Avalon Theatre on Main Street in Grand Junction.
Caitlin Row / crow@gjfreepress.com | Free Press

DRINK FOR A GOOD CAUSE

To help fund the Avalon Cornerstone Project, the Rockslide Brewery & Restaurant created an Avalon Ale. For every pint sold, $1 will go towards finishing construction this summer.

The Rockslide is located at 401 Main St., in downtown Grand Junction.

Grand Junction’s downtown Avalon Theatre is mere months away from hosting concerts, shows and movies. New chairs in the auditorium are installed, the glass-faced wall is encasing the addition, and an elevator is currently being constructed.

The performing art center’s grand re-opening is set for Sept. 20; the inaugural concert will be hosted by the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra.

“We are very excited to be opening our season and the new Avalon Theatre with world-class cellist Lynn Harrell in September,” GJSO’s marketing director Jeremy Herigstad said. “We are anticipating a great season of concerts in the new hall and look forward to the completion of the stage expansion in phase two, which will create a permanent home for the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra.”

While key players in the Avalon Theatre revitalization had initially hoped to open the auditorium in June (while the structure’s addition was finished), complications in securing a certificate of occupancy made a summer launch too difficult.

A grand opening of the whole building seemed like the best option, Avalon Cornerstone Project development director Robin Brown said.

PAVER PROJECT FUNDRAISER

To finish phase one construction, Brown is leading the charge on a new fundraiser — the Avalon Paver Project — which launched June 1.

“Concrete pavers will be used to complete the third-level terrace floor, which features magnificent views of the entire Grand Valley and downtown Grand Junction,” the Avalon Theatre Foundation said in a news release. “The Terrace will be utilized for a variety of unique events when the Avalon re-opens in the fall, including weddings, cocktail parties, dinners, receptions and fundraising activities.”

Pavers will go from $500-$2,500, and each paver purchased may be engraved with family names, church groups, clubs, businesses, etc. Ten pavers have already been sold.

“Carslon Memorials agreed to donate all the engravings, which is well over $100,000,” Brown added. “If we sold every paver, it would reach $800,000.”

THE BACKGROUND

The City of Grand Junction, Downtown Development Authority and the Avalon Theatre Foundation Board hoped to update downtown’s city owned performing arts center since 2008. All three entities are involved in funding the project, which makes the 91-year-old structure both ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible and able to accommodate larger events.

In June 2013, City Council opted for $7.6 million revitalization project (including an updated auditorium and the shell of an addition) because it could be easily upgraded into the full phase one project (including full buildout of the addition, plus the roof-top terrace) if sufficient funding was acquired. To kick off the project, the DDA committed $3 million, the City committed $3.1 million, and the Avalon Theatre Foundation committed to raise $1.1 million (which has since been met).

Then at the end of 2013, a $1 million grant awarded by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) made full buildout possible. After re-bidding the project in 2014 to include completion of the elevator, the community room and the roof-top terrace, the project grew to $9.6 million.

“That contract is signed,” Brown said. “It’s not going up again.”

To fund the overflow, Brown said the Avalon Theatre Foundation set out to raise another $500,000 or more, while the City also dedicated more funding pending how much is brought in privately. Approximately $100,000 additional dollars have already been raised by the Avalon Theatre Foundation at this time.

For more information about the project and fundraising efforts, visit http://www.avalontheatrefoundation.org or find it on Facebook.


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