Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall, a historic Darke County treasure opened in 1912, has recently undergone an extensive interior renovation funded by a grant overseen by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. A “Renovation Celebration” recognizing those who made these improvements possible will be hosted by Darke County Endowment for the Arts on Oct. 10. The event begins with an open house where guests can tour the building from 6-7 p.m. and will conclude with a ceremony from 7-7:30 p.m. in the Anna Bier Civic Room honoring those who contributed to this restoration which returns the building to its former state of beauty and usefulness.
Senate President Keith Faber, Senator Bill Beagle, and Representative Jim Buchy, whose legislative efforts made possible the funds underwriting this project, have been invited to attend the ceremony so that their good work on behalf of the citizens of Darke County can be appropriately honored. Additionally, the local vendors whose work helped create the beautiful result will be recognized.
According to Matt Jordan, project manager, all key components of the restoration were completed on schedule before the start of school for students at Greenville Junior High, who use the building on a daily basis. In addition to plaster repair and painting, new seats and flooring have been installed in the auditorium, and new curtains adorn the proscenium stage; additionally, technical upgrades to sound and lighting will enhance all events occurring on-stage. The beautifully refurbished main entry doors are in place, with proper locks, new glass and seals to help with energy costs. “The Anna Bier Gallery now has state-of-the-art lighting, plus new carpet and newly painted walls; the carpet in the Civic Room was also replaced, and the walls redone,” Mr. Jordan stated.
Darke County Endowment for the Arts has contributed to many improvements in St. Clair Memorial Hall, and long pondered a campaign to raise funds to keep the aging facility viable as an arts center. In early 2014, DCEA engaged Mr. Jordan, who has extensive experience in theatre, to determine actual costs necessary for a much-needed renovation of the beloved building. As that process was in its infancy, endowment officials were contacted regarding submitting a proposal to the legislature for undertaking the very project being contemplated. “Fortunately, Matt was able to pull together everything that was needed for our submission, and thanks to the support of Senate President Faber, Senator Beagle, Representative Buchy, the St. Clair Memorial Hall project received $500,000 from the state of Ohio,” explained Marilyn Delk, chair of DCEA Board of Trustees. As owner of the building, Greenville City Schools generously served as overseers of the restoration project, in spite of the fact that the district was already involved in other major construction. “We hope that the Renovation Celebration adequately expresses our gratitude to our legislators, the school, and all those who made this exciting project become a reality,” Mrs. Delk concluded.
Following the Renovation Celebration, Darke County Center for the Arts will open their 2015-2016 Artists Series season with an 8 p.m. concert by songstress Lisa Biales. “We hope that those attending the celebration will stay for the concert so they can experience the enhanced features of the newly renovated Hall,” Mrs. Delk said. For tickets to the concert, contact DCCA at 547-0908 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by BlueBag Media.