Miller Theater to be restored as home for Symphony Orchestra Augusta

Friday, Sept. 23, 2011 10:59 AM
Last updated Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 3:11 AM
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The historic Miller Theater on Broad Street will be restored as a viable performance space in downtown Augusta.

Inside the theater  File
File
Inside the theater

In a press conference Friday morning, Joe Huff, the president of the Symphony Orchestra Augusta board of directors, announced that the board approved to move forward with the project.

Huff said the project will “revitalize the downtown city center.” It will also give Symphony Orchestra Augusta its first home in its 57-year history.

Peter Knox purchased the building six years ago to save the historic theater and offered to give it as a gift to Symphony Orchestra Augusta in 2008. Since then, the symphony has hired consultants to conduct studies to determine whether the restoration was a viable project.

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jamc1103
115
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jamc1103 09/23/11 - 01:10 pm
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0

Great news! Wonder how long

Great news! Wonder how long it will take them to get the theater up and running?

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 09/23/11 - 01:29 pm
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Sorry if I don't get excited

Sorry if I don't get excited over this. I'd love to see the Miller restored but we have been hearing this for 6 years. Two years ago the voters approved over $5 million in splost dollars to restore the theater, but the symphony stalled and wanted to do more studies. They are saying now it is going to cost four times more to restore the building than what earlier studies said. At some point this theater may be restored, but I doubt it will be in my lifetime

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 09/23/11 - 01:38 pm
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The lead of this article

The lead of this article states that "The historic Miller Theater on Broad Street WILL be restored as a viable performance space in downtown Augusta." How is the reporter certain of this? Does the Symphony have a timetable in place for construction? Have they raised all of the additional money needed to start renovation? How much of the splost money do they have left after paying all of these consultants? About when could we expect to see a symphony performance in the restored Miller. It's easy to say you're going to do something but following through is another matter entirely.

willie7
824
Points
willie7 09/23/11 - 01:44 pm
0
0

Great News! Hopefully, the

Unpublished

Great News! Hopefully, the group will begin restoration soon.
Would be willing to make a substantial contribution as a fomer member of the board.

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 09/23/11 - 01:50 pm
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Hey Willie, you got $20

Hey Willie, you got $20 million to spare? And what has taken so long for the symphony to make a decision? Mr Knox made the offer to donate the building to them more than 3 years ago. If you really want to see The Miller restored and re-opened within our lifetimes then this is NOT good news. There was another plan out there that would have been much cheaper, would have been implemented much faster and would have made for a more viable venue. The Symphony has been twiddling their thumbs for the past 3 years wasting time. They have not even begun to raise the tens of millions more they say they will need to restore this building. This is not good news if you are a Miller fan.

BevBoudreaux
0
Points
BevBoudreaux 09/23/11 - 02:55 pm
0
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clueless.. love your name.

clueless.. love your name. fact: the symphony wants a very expensive retrofit. Their own estimates suggest $2o million atleast to retrofit the building to their standards. That is not viable or feasible. Not unless The symphony has a major benefactor lined up to inject that kind of cash into the project. Do they? And why was this even put in a SPLOST package when the symphony had not even committed to it in the first place? The cost estimates for restoring the Miller from a previous study paid for by Mr Knox showed it would take about $6.7million to restore it to its orginal state to as a multi-use theater. What the symphony wants to do is another things entirely.. far more expensive that will limit it's use significantly. What plans are you referring to as Dismal failures?

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 09/23/11 - 03:05 pm
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This is exactly why we need

This is exactly why we need sunsets on splost projects. If a splost project is not under construction within 5 years of being approved by voters.. it is redirected to something else. heck there are a lot of things we could do to improve Augusta with $5 million but we have all of this money sitting around doing nothing because the projects never get off the ground as promised.

Vito45
-2
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Vito45 09/23/11 - 03:15 pm
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TWENTY DAD-GUM MILLION???? I

TWENTY DAD-GUM MILLION???? I want some of what they are smoking. Does anyone know what their "standards" are?

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 09/23/11 - 03:29 pm
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And Vito. They have already

And Vito. They have already gotten over $5 million in our splost dollars. I remember when the debate over this was going on and it was put on the splost ballot a few years ago. We were told back then that it would take somewhere between $6 million and $7 million to fully restore the theater. So over $5 million was approved in splost and the SOA would have to raise the rest to get the money. Well two years have gone by and just now is the symphony even accepting the building from Mr Knox. He has been paying the bills on the theater all this time.. more than 3 years after offering it to the SOA and NOW after conducting their own studies, the SOA estimates it will cost around $20 million to retrofit the theater. Now if they are confident that they can raise all of that money and afford to maintain it as a symphony hall then good luck to them.

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 09/23/11 - 03:32 pm
0
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The splost money should have

The splost money should have never been given for this project.. not knowing what we know now. But as usual, a splost project will cost triple what we were told it would cost.

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 09/23/11 - 03:37 pm
0
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I love what the symphony

I love what the symphony does, but what they want to do with this building is too expensive and will make it difficult for other groups to use the building. There is no way they can maintain this building all on their own. But their plans will severely limit what groups can utilize the building. there were much less expensive plans on the table that would have allowed for a wider use of the building.

dorisday
0
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dorisday 09/23/11 - 03:50 pm
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Didn't some of the SPLOST

Didn't some of the SPLOST money that was supposed to go to the Miller have to be split between it and the Augusta Mini Theater??

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 09/23/11 - 03:58 pm
0
0

I believe so Doris, but The

I believe so Doris, but The SOA got the bulk of it.

BevBoudreaux
0
Points
BevBoudreaux 09/23/11 - 04:00 pm
0
0

I'm not sure why our tax

I'm not sure why our tax dollars should be going to these groups. I'm a big supporter of the arts, but why can't they raise the money for these sorts of things from private donations? And who will own the building? Will the city have any stake in it since over $5 million in tax dollars are going in to it?

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 09/23/11 - 08:57 pm
0
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I forsee another money-pit

I forsee another money-pit here.

story1
443
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story1 09/23/11 - 09:59 pm
0
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Bev, you are so on the mark.

Bev, you are so on the mark. Your comments are all valid and should be a concern for Augusta and the community. Their plan will not be viable for other arts groups as much as they sugarcoat and attempt to gain buy-in from the arts community. A wise person once said the SOA will be bankrupt before the Grand Re-Opening of the Miller and Splost will be spent on home plate.

cityman
-6
Points
cityman 09/24/11 - 11:07 pm
0
0

Why restore it? It is shabby

Unpublished

Why restore it? It is shabby sheek as it is. It fits in well with downtown.

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