Theatre upgrade coming up roses

‘MORE THAN A THEATRE’: The $3.6 million Lawson Field Theatre upgrade is on track for an October 2019 reopening. The theatre will be available for a variety of public and private events. Graphic image supplied

The new-look Lawson Field Theatre is a step closer to completion.

Design concepts have been finalised for the theatre’s façade, which will feature a “contemporary reference” to the neighbouring rose garden.

Red screens will surround the front entranceway and there will be a modern take on traditional theatre masks.

The roof has been completed after five months and the theatre project is running to time and on budget.

Future Tairawhiti (comprising all councillors and Mayor Meng Foon) was told last month that confirmed funding for the project was $3.571 million from all sources. The total project estimate, including all contingencies, was $3.6m.

A GDC spokeswoman said the council was committed to funding $1.1m for the upgrade and to working with the War Memorial Theatre Trust to raise the remainder from external grants and fundraising.

Trust chairwoman Pat Seymour said they were delighted with the fundraising support to date.

“We have secured the $1.2 million that we signed an agreement with the council to raise. We are now very close to the target of $1.5 million we set ourselves.

“That will see the project completed, opened and fitted out with the necessary inclusions for a complex that is more than a theatre.”

The ‘‘sponsor-a-seat’’ fundraising campaign had proved successful, with 55 seats remaining. The trust recently secured a $180,000 donation from the Eastern and Central Community Trust.

“The trustees gratefully acknowledge their generosity towards this project and the many other local and national donors who have made it possible,” Mrs Seymour said.

“Like all of our community, we look forward to the theatre being available for many and varied events, and public and private bookings later next year.”

The project involves major upgrades and earthquake-strengthening.

Construction is scheduled for completion by the end of July. A theatre fit-out and landscaping will be done in ensuing months in time for its reopening in October.

The theatre was opened in 1983 but the council issued a notice to repair after an independent earthquake assessment, and the building was later closed.

The contract was awarded to Currie Construction.

The new-look Lawson Field Theatre is a step closer to completion.

Design concepts have been finalised for the theatre’s façade, which will feature a “contemporary reference” to the neighbouring rose garden.

Red screens will surround the front entranceway and there will be a modern take on traditional theatre masks.

The roof has been completed after five months and the theatre project is running to time and on budget.

Future Tairawhiti (comprising all councillors and Mayor Meng Foon) was told last month that confirmed funding for the project was $3.571 million from all sources. The total project estimate, including all contingencies, was $3.6m.

A GDC spokeswoman said the council was committed to funding $1.1m for the upgrade and to working with the War Memorial Theatre Trust to raise the remainder from external grants and fundraising.

Trust chairwoman Pat Seymour said they were delighted with the fundraising support to date.

“We have secured the $1.2 million that we signed an agreement with the council to raise. We are now very close to the target of $1.5 million we set ourselves.

“That will see the project completed, opened and fitted out with the necessary inclusions for a complex that is more than a theatre.”

The ‘‘sponsor-a-seat’’ fundraising campaign had proved successful, with 55 seats remaining. The trust recently secured a $180,000 donation from the Eastern and Central Community Trust.

“The trustees gratefully acknowledge their generosity towards this project and the many other local and national donors who have made it possible,” Mrs Seymour said.

“Like all of our community, we look forward to the theatre being available for many and varied events, and public and private bookings later next year.”

The project involves major upgrades and earthquake-strengthening.

Construction is scheduled for completion by the end of July. A theatre fit-out and landscaping will be done in ensuing months in time for its reopening in October.

The theatre was opened in 1983 but the council issued a notice to repair after an independent earthquake assessment, and the building was later closed.

The contract was awarded to Currie Construction.

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