Grand Junction’s Avalon Theatre project moving right along |

Grand Junction’s Avalon Theatre project moving right along

The Avalon Theatre renovation is moving right along, with the walls of the addition already going up.
Caitlin Row / | Free Press

Construction and fundraising efforts for the Avalon Theatre moved quickly since Grand Junction City Council approved its portion of funding for renovations last June.

The Avalon Theatre auditorium in still on track to re-open June 1, with the first floor of the addition to likely open later in the summer.

The city dedicated $3.1 million, the Downtown Development Authority gave an additional $3 million, and a $1 million grant came from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Program. Another $1.1 from the private sector is going directly to the renovation.

“Fundraising is going great,” Avalon Cornerstone Project development director Robin Brown said. “We were obligated to raise $1.1 million. We’ve met that obligation, and we’re continuing to fundraise. We plan to raise another $500,000 with the Take Your Seat campaign.”

Before the DOLA grant was awarded to the city, Avalon renovations were priced at $7.6 million, including an unfinished addition shell that would be completed at a later date when more funding trickled in from donors.

With increased funding, now the Avalon Theatre Foundation and the city are working to fund a completed addition, which bumps the project up to about $8.5 million or more (depending on re-bid figures for the remaining aspects of the project, including the full addition and possibly the roof-top terrace).

“The multi-purpose room structure is done, the steel is up for the lobby addition, and the elevator shaft is going in,” Brown said. “At the end of the week, (FCI) will start pouring the floor in the auditorium.

“The upper mezzanine is really beautiful. When you stand up there, it’s pretty glorious.”

According to City of Grand Junction spokeswoman Sam Rainguet, an Avalon Theatre update is on the council work session agenda scheduled for 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 24.

Brown said re-bid numbers will be discussed at that meeting.

When finished, Grand Junction’s performing arts center will boast improved acoustics, expanded seating, more event space, digital movie projection technology, an elevator, improved air conditioning and heat, along with expanded patron amenities like more concession stands and bathrooms.

“We will likely start public tours next month,” Brown added. “You can’t walk in there and not be awed.”

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