Wed08202014

Last updateSun, 10 Aug 2014 9pm

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High Springs Theater renovated

HIGH SPRINGS – For approximately 19 years, the High Springs Community Theater has entertained visitors and locals alike. Yet, the layout of the theater has always affected the variety and type of plays that could come to High Springs.

Now, renovations are underway at the City of High Springs Community Theatre to create a staging area behind the main stage that will allow props to be moved quickly. In the past, the High Springs Community Theater could not present plays that required a set change because of the inability to change scenes fast enough.

A baptismal, remains from the theater’s previous life as a church, sits behind the stage. It is framed by solid concrete walls.

Contractors plan to knock down most of the concrete and fill in the baptismal. When the staging area is complete, the Board of Directors will be able to bring a broader range of entertainment to the city, said Arlene Levine, president of the Board of Directors.

Leda Carrero, vice president of the Board of Directors, said the windows in the theater have begun to leak. Because of moisture build-up, the plaster walls have bubbled under nearly all of the windows. Levine estimated that there are 22 to 23 windows inside the old building.

The High Springs Community Theater has experienced outrageously high electricity bills, Levine said. According to her, heat is trapped inside the roof of the building, causing the air conditioning to work harder to cool the space.

During the remodel, the interior walls of the building will be fixed, and vents will be added onto the roof to allow the excess heat to escape. The total cost of the project is an estimated $4,600, which breaks down to $2,400 for the staging area, $1,100 for vents and $800 for the new plastering job.

The city commission agreed to provide the High Springs Community Theater with the money to complete the project.

“This is something of substance,” Commissioner Linda Gestrin said. “This is a group that actually brings people to our town.”

Levine said the theater is extremely grateful to the city for providing the money.

“We want something we can be proud of,” she said. “We’re a small town. Small towns don’t have a lot of different buildings or venues.”

Despite the current projects, Levine noted that the 100-year-old building still needs a lot of work before it is finished. Past remodels have included the construction of dressing rooms, public restrooms and a green Room. Recently, five new windows were installed.

“We want the building to reflect the quality of the performances inside,” said Carrero. The community theater puts on six different plays throughout the year.

The current construction will not interfere with any of the projects. Both Levine and Carrero estimated construction to be completed within a month.

On April 13, the High Springs Community Theater will host an opening reception prior to the premier of “Deathtrap.” The reception will include complimentary drinks and snacks.