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Rodgers Theater construction continues with new bathrooms
The second phase of the Rodgers Theatre renovation project is under way.
Lance Jones Construction of Corning was recently awarded the contract to construct the theater's new restrooms by the City Council.
The construction company's base bid for the project is $89,500.
Included in the project will be the men's and women's restroom plumbing, concrete construction, two water heaters, metal partitions, second floor storage and office framing, electrical, lighting, countertops, doors and knobs, tile flooring, paint, mirror, and installation of already purchased toilets, urinals and faucets.
The theater's previous restrooms and seating areas have been gutted, and the new restrooms, office and storage area will be where storage and side loges were previously.
Funding for phase 2 comes from the $121,822 in the Rodgers Theatre account, which includes $16,974 from the Rodgers Trust, $20,848 from an ADA restroom grant, about $25,000 from a McConnel Foundation grant, $9,000 in the Community Foundation checking account and $50,000 in foundation CDs, according to City Manager John Brewer.
"There is some urgency in getting phase 2 going," Brewer said. "The funds we have from the McConnel Foundation must be used by March 1."
In response, Rick Jones of Lance Jones Construction, assured the City Council the company would start working on the project immediately.
"We will get our bills into the city as quickly as possible to show work has been done and funds spent before March 1," Jones said.
True to his word, company men were at the theater that same week starting work on the project.
The next part of phase 2 will be the reconstruction of loge seating and extension of the stage area.
It has been nearly seven years since the 78-year-old Solano Street theater was been open to the public, and since that time the aged-interior has been gutted in an effort to make the theater a community center as well as a single large-screen movie theater, and bring it into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
Corning Community Foundation is organizing the renovation project, with funding coming from a variety of sources.
Reconstruction of the loge seating area will include sloped seating in the center with a storage area constructed underneath.
Gutting the theater's seating area, bathrooms and concession area was made possible through the use of $220,000 in city park funds.
Using park funds, $50,000 raised by Friends of the Theater, and a $35,000 grant from the California Energy Commission's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, other renovation work has included a new roof and ventilation, ceiling insulation, heating and air-conditioning units, ducting equipment, lighting improvements, and the installation of structural support framing and minor concrete work.
A $500 grant provided by the Tehama County Arts Council, The California Arts Council and The One Million Plates for the Arts Project was used to purchase five 60-inch round folding banquet tables to be utilized for community events when the theater's renovations have been completed.
A grant from the Shasta Regional Foundation made it possible for the much of the exterior work on the theater to be completed.
In September, CR Construction and Tile, under contract with the foundation, installed new, olive-green tile on the front of the theater's old, broken and marked-up tile and new frames and glass were installed on the theater's front display cases.
In November, students for Mendy Beardsley's Corning High School art class Marly Adams and Favian Castrejon, and Colton Peterson painted an original design on the ground just outside the theater's glass entrance doors.
"Corning Community Foundation wanted something unique for the entrance and so these three students each submitted a design to the foundation," Beardsley said. "The foundation liked what they saw from all three designs so the students selected parts of each design and collaborated in putting it all together."
Featuring a green cocktail olive in the middle with a yellow background, the design also displays a film strip with the numbers 1935 and 2012 across it, and the theatrical masks of tragedy and comedy.
Estimated cost to complete the renovations and re-open the theater is $800,000, but that depends on how much of the work can be completed by volunteers.
Built in 1935 by the Rodgers family, the theater is one of the few giant single-screen movie houses left in the state.
In 1991, it was endowed to the city by Daniel and Wealthy Rodgers, along with $50,000 for upkeep.