Opera House has $97,000 left to spend on improvements

By Trish Yerges, The Observer November 23, 2012 01:31 pm

ELGIN – After four years of renovations to restore the historic Elgin Opera House, John Stover chair of the capital committee announced that there is still almost $97,000 left over to use for additional improvements. 

Stover told board members at this month’s Elgin Economic Development and Growth Endeavor meeting that there is still $66,953 left in the EDGE account for the opera house and another $30,000 in a city account for the same purpose.

The $97,000 surplus will be used to make further improvements to the Opera House. With this in mind, the capital committee is considering the wish list of the Friends of the Opera House.

Among those dream projects are the installation of a railing down the center of the front cement stairs, curtains or blinds for the front room windows, a wide door in the restroom and expansion of the restroom into the office space. Another possible project would be taking the projector booth out and putting in more seats.

“We’re not done yet,” said Stover. “Sprinklers were put in the lawn. We’re also going to put a new electronic reader board on the front lawn, encased in brick that matches the opera house.”

Some present asked about the availability of parking for opera house events. Joe Garlitz responded that only 10 percent of downtown parking is used, so there is plenty of parking available.

Stover said that they are completing the required final reports for submission to Myer Memorial and Ford Family Foundation for grants amounting to more than $300,000.

Stover stated that EDGE would like to invite a representative of the Friends of the Opera House to attend their meetings and participate in any discussions that would directly benefit the opera house and its future productions.