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Grand Theater plans next step

November 2, 2012
By DAVE GOSSETT - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

STEUBENVILLE - Scott Dressel has met the ideal structural engineer for the next restoration project at the Grand Theater.

"We had an engineer from WBCM Engineers of Baltimore arrive at the theater last week. He was early, which was nice. And he spent all day in every corner of the theater, crawling through the attic, taking a great number of photos and checking the structural aspects of the building," Dressel, president of the Grand Theater Restoration Campaign, told his board of directors Thursday.

"The firm is now preparing a formal proposal for us. And the nice thing is the firm has done a theater restoration before so they have experience in this work," continued Dressel.

"And one of his most encouraging comments was he thought the theater looked like a construction site and not a deteriorating theater," he added.

Dressel said the engineer's study has cleared the way for an open house at the theater from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Dec. 8, which is the day of the Steubenville Christmas parade.

"We will allow visitors into the theater lobby and will also be able to conduct a tour to the theater stage for $5. We will be selling Grand Theater memberships for $25 that will allow for a free tour on that day or other days. And we plan on having the Franciscan University of Steubenville Students in Free Enterprise helping us with the tours," said Dressel.

"The parade is a good opportunity for some serious public relations for the theater. We hope to bring visitors in to see the theater and to gain their support for our future major projects," Dressel said.

"We will be decorating the theater lobby in a Christmas theme prior to the Dec. 8 open house," remarked board member Francesca Carinci.

"Our fundraising goal for next year is $1 million because we are now looking at several major projects next year. I have been though the theater this week as we experienced all of the rain and the building has remained very dry," he noted.

Dressel also said Sane Technology will be laser scanning the theater during the next few weeks.

"The file of data will be given to our engineering firm and architect for their future work. And it will also allow us to take a virtual tour of the theater through computer programs. This company is very enthusiastic about this project, and it will provide exact measurements of the theater.

Dressel announced a Grand Night for Holiday Fashion, a fundraiser for the theater, is set for Nov. 17 at the Center of Music and Art in Wintersville.

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