with a view
County Arts Center
unveils new stage
into live performance area
Helen E. McKinney
CRESTWOOD, Ky. (September 2005) Throughout early August,
the sounds of hammer and saw greeted visitors to the Oldham County Arts
Center in Crestwood, Ky. Drastic improvements have been made to transform
the stage area into a more theater-friendly atmosphere.
by Don Ward
stage by 50 percent and
removed partitions in
last months upgrades.
The arts center was the previous home of the Crestwood
Baptist Church at 7105 Floydsburg Road. The former church sanctuary
was renovated from a worship center to a performing arts auditorium.
An expanded stage was needed to improve the sight lines, enabling the
audience to better view the entire area.
East and Westbrook Construction Co. completed the bulk of the upgrades
to the Performance Hall area.
We removed visual barriers that were left over from when the space
was a worship space and removed two step-up choir risers at the rear
of the stage, said David Thurmond, the centers program coordinator.
With a capacity of 450, the arts center will be used for performances,
rehearsals, exhibits and receptions for the performing arts. A Mission
Possible project was held July 31 in which approximately 75 community
volunteers spent the day cleaning, polishing, weeding and mowing. Volunteers
included Oldham County school staff, civic clubs, businesses and individuals
within the community who had a desire to spruce up the building. An
open house was held Aug. 9.
By completing the inside upgrades, we will essentially be converting
the performance space from an abandoned church worship area to a theatrical
stage area suitable for music, dance theater and special events,
The useable area of the stage has been increased by 50 percent. The
stage has been leveled, and a new stage floor has been installed. Large
holes that were once in the back wall, housing the baptistery and organ
speakers, have been filled in, covered and painted. In addition, electric
and sound receptacles have been relocated.
This work is funded through private donations, fund raising projects
and matching grants solicited by the Oldham County Educational Foundation.
The cost of the project totals $70,000, said Alan Fryrear, foundation
by Don Ward
stage was finished just in time for the
Bluegrass Independent Film Festival.
The foundations purpose is to provide a formal group
that fosters business and community support for the public schools in
Oldham County. Through community understanding and awareness, community-business-school
partnerships and fund raising, the foundation enhances educational opportunities
in the Oldham County Public Schools. The foundation supported this project
because we felt that this met one of our goals, Fryrear
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