Setting the stage: Colonial Arts Center schedules new grand opening date in October

BUCKHANNON – The Colonial Arts Center has set a new, tentative grand opening date in October.

The Colonial Arts Center Board discussed potential new dates during their May 2 meeting. The board previously had the opening date scheduled for mid-April but decided to delay it so the space would be complete, including its theater seating.

“The two options we believe are the strongest for potential [opening] dates are Oct. 7 or Oct. 21,” CAC Board President John Waltz said. “I don’t know if there’s any preference — it sounds like the seating is going to be completed by then – and October was thought of as a good potential time for us, but we can also move it earlier or later.”

Waltz said the Grand Opening Committee could start contacting other community groups to perform and participate in the opening.

CAC Board President John Waltz at Tuesday’s meeting. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

“They have said the chairs will be done by then; I will double check and let you know what they’re planning,” said city director of finance and administration Amberle Jenkins.

City recorder Randy Sanders made a motion to set a tentative grand opening date for Oct. 7 and Oct. 21 as a backup date, depending on the status of the seating installation.

Jenkins said the construction on the rest of the building is moving along, and they hope to have the façade of the building completed soon.

“I know they’re working on the metal for the façade; they really wanted to try to get the wood covering the CAC down before the Strawberry Festival – that’s their goal,” Jenkins said. “I know they were working on that yesterday, and a lot is being done on the inside of the building.”

Colonial Arts Center Manager Anne Wilson said the recent programs at the CAC have been well-attended.

“The recent middle school play was really, really excellent,” Wilson said. “They did two shows, a Friday and Saturday night, April 21 and 22, and the first night we had about 95 in the audience; for the second time, there were at least 135 people.”

“The West Virginia Dance Company performance was really great as well,” she added. “The dancers actually had to put their dance floor on the carpet in the Main Hall, so seating didn’t start until about halfway back in the Main Hall, but there was still room with the risers Keith [Buchanan] built and we had 84 people attend.”

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