News Column

Lubbock Memorial Civic Center renovation won't cancel holiday performances

August 22, 2014

By Stevie Poole, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Texas



Aug. 22--Plans to renovate the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center's theater and banquet hall won't interrupt the annual Christmas festivities the Lubbock landmark is known for, but other programs may have to find a new venue -- at least for 2015.

An annual Ballet Lubbock show is one.

"The only thing it will really affect is our school performance, which is typically either the second or third week of May," said Nicholas Dragga, executive director of Ballet Lubbock. "We will have to find a different performance venue for that."

The theater is expected to close for updates -- including upgrading restrooms and heating and cooling systems -- in May 2015 and reopen the following October, so holiday favorites like "The Nutcracker" will continue without interruption.

"We're thrilled that they are kind of scheduling it toward the kind of less busy season or downtime," Dragga said.

The Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, one of the Civic Center's leading tenants, will have to reschedule a few shows to accommodate the construction, but president and CEO Mary Saathoff said she is excited to see the progress.

"We are very pleased that they are doing renovations," she said, noting some performances may be moved around next fall. "We are going to work around it."

Built in 1977, the Civic Center has not been fully renovated in almost two decades, Director Freddy Chavez said, but around $9 million in funds are earmarked to giving the 37-year-old building a face-lift.

And, the theater and banquet hall are only part of the plan. The memorial center is also undergoing updates to lighting, the replacing of carpet and even adding Wi-Fi among several other renovations, Chavez said.

Many of the changes, including those to the theater, involve fixing existing property rather than replacing it.

"You want to utilize your funds the best you can," Chavez said.

Upgraded restrooms and changes to theater seating will be obvious to the public, but much of the renovation will likely go unnoticed by the average resident, Chavez said.

"There are some things that the general public is not going to see," he said, citing upgrades to the building's HVAC system as an example.

Some upgrades have already been completed, others are underway and Chavez hopes the rest will be finished by the end of next year.

stevie.poole@lubbockonline.com

--766-8742

Follow Stevie on Twitter

@AJ_SteviePoole

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(c)2014 the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas)

Visit the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas) at www.lubbockonline.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (TX)


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