Harold Alfond Foundation to aid Waterville Opera House renovations

Posted June 13, 2011, at 4:22 p.m.

WATERVILLE, Maine — The Harold Alfond Foundation has announced a bonus 3:1 matching challenge grant to help complete fundraising efforts for the Waterville Opera House’ s $4 million renovation project.

The Opera House has raised $1.9 million toward its $2 million goal, all of which will be matched 1:1 under a 2009 matching commitment of the Foundation. As a bonus, for every $1 raised between now and Aug. 1, the foundation will donate an additional $3, Diane Bryan, executive director of the Waterville Opera House announced in a press release issued Monday.

If the Opera House meets the challenge, the bonus money would cover the full cost of an enhanced set construction facility.

“We are thrilled by this additional support from the Harold Alfond Foundation and grateful for

the Foundation’s confidence in the project,” Bryan said in the release. “We are looking forward to getting the renovations under way. A grand reopening celebration is being planned for January.”

Greg Powell, chairman of the Harold Alfond Foundation’s board of trustees, added in the statement that the organization hopes ”our additional commitment will give the Opera House the final boost it needs to complete the campaign this summer.”

Improvements to the 109-year-old theater will include: replacing balcony seating; upgrading

technical systems such as wiring, rigging, sound and lighting; constructing a new addition to

house dressing rooms and public restrooms; improving stage access in compliance with ADA

regulations; and renovating backstage areas to allow larger and more complex productions.

Groundbreaking is expected to take place in late June. In the meantime, work is being

done to remove old fixtures and prepare for construction.

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