Turnage Theatre roof project moving along

Published 7:09 pm Friday, August 23, 2019

The roof replacement project at the Historic Turnage Theatre is moving along!

The structural design plan for the roof, completed in July 2018 with a National Historic Trust Fund and a private donor match, is guiding the work and fundraising to support the largest project Arts of the Pamlico has undertaken to date.

AOP hired the T.A. Loving Company in early June. The company is serving as the general contractor. Curtis McLawhorn Engineering, based here in Washington, completed the structure design plan and is leading the project for AOP.

What’s happening now? The tin ceiling above the vaudeville playhouse space has been removed and stored. Removal of the ceiling is the first step to exposing all the beams and trusses for assessment.

The assessment to calculate the final costs and procure the materials and equipment needed is the next step, which is expected to wrap up by the end of this month.

A preliminary assessment, post the removal of the tin ceiling, shows that all the trusses will need to be replaced. The wood fibers of the beams are stretched thin from old age and cannot be salvaged.

Roof leaks are being held off with a huge plastic barrier to stave off the rains when they come. The water, however, continues to find its way to the lowest point, and the roof patches are seeing the end of their lives.

The goal is to replace the roof from the inside out by March 2020. This will require the use of a crane and a temporary dry roof to keep all beneath it in good shape.

To date, AOP has raised just over $303,000 for this project with an estimated cost of $550,000. Sources of funding to date include the first grant out of the state of Georgia from the Fox Theatre Institute, the Eddie & Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation, local government support from the City of Washington and support from individuals. AOP has submitted additional grants and is awaiting word later this fall on if they will be funded.

Fundraising continues and all levels of support are welcome and greatly appreciated. Donations may be mailed in, called in or completed online at www.artsofthepamlico.org/raise-the-roof/.

AOP’s Historic Turnage Theatre is located at 150 W. Main St., Washington. To learn more about future events, please visit AOP’s website at www.artsofthepamlico.org.

Debra Torrence is the executive director of Arts of the Pamlico.