SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) — Wednesday marked the start of $30 million in planned renovations to the Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend.
Ground-breaking ceremonies were held for the first phase of the project, which carries a price tag of $9 million.
“Well, this is the first phase of the renovation. All the mechanicals are being redone, all the lighting systems, new flooring, new roof, new plumbing, new HVAC,” said Aaron Perri, director of sites, parks and the arts for South Bend.
The first phase is financed by an energy savings contract and an increase in the county tax for innkeepers.
About a thousand seats have already been removed from the ground floor of the Morris. Another 1,600 will be removed from the balcony. Efforts will be made to reallocate some of the seats and provide them to community groups and project donors, although the seats saved are likely to be scarce.
“They actually share an armrest, so you can’t just take one off and give it to someone. They are designed to be installed in a theater,” Perri said.
The last show at the Morris was June 30.
The Morris will then host a grand reopening event on October 1.
Officials have yet to reveal the headliner, but say a Ferris wheel will be part of the outdoor festivities.
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