MOUNT VERNON — The third phase of the ongoing construction project at the Woodward Opera House building is currently under way. Contractors from Shawn Young Construction and Krista’s Complete Landscaping were tearing out the plaster in the second floor ceilings of the building Wednesday morning as part of the remodeling/renovation efforts.
“We’re exposing the floor joists on this level so we can ascertain the connections to the outside walls,” Woodward Development Corporation secretary Pat Crow told the News. “Once these are exposed, engineers can then write the correct specifications and generate a more accurate cost.” After the bidding process, a fire-rated drywall will then be put up which is required in separating floors.
“This phase of the project is a renovation of 3,000 square feet on the second floor, which is the maximum you can do on an upper floor without having to meet stringent accessibility code issues,” said Crow.
Spaces in the second floor of the building will eventually be used for offices, according to Crow. “This is what the space was used for originally,” he said. “They were offices that were very flexible with doors that led from suite to suite. So you could actually rent one, two or three suites. We want to put this space back into the exact same use as this unfolds. These offices will initially be primarily used for the Woodward operations to help move the whole project forward as construction continues.”
Cost for this phase project is estimated at $800,000 which includes a structural reinforcement of the floor in the third level where the theater is located.
Historic tax credits are being pursued to help the project move along financially as part of developing a historic district in downtown Mount Vernon. Crow is in hopes that financing will fall into place so that renovations can continue in the theater area and that performances can take place there in the next two to three years.
Bids for the next construction phase are scheduled for advertisement in February 2012, said Crow.
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