Dust up at the Strand

TOM MCNICHOLS/PHOTONon load-bearing walls were removed on the second floor of the Strand Center for the Arts, which is the future Maker Space, music classroom and a Smart classroom/flex space.

PLATTSBURGH – Dust is in the air at the Strand Center for the Arts and the Strand Theatre in Plattsburgh.

Demolition and construction projects are underway thanks to a $755,000 Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant.

“We have broken ground on all facets,” Tom McNichols, a Strand board member and secretary, said.

“There are a number of different scopes in the theater, but they all focus around final aesthetic build outs.”

At 25 Brinkerhoff St., the Strand Theatre receives final treatments towards its overall restoration, focusing on function, safety, technical updates and final appearance, according to the board.

“There's a new bar and some other functional upgrades as well to light and sound,” McNichols said.

“The new bar is in the lobby. We always used to have kind of a makeshift one, and now there will be a permanent, formal concession area that is two equally symmetrical sides.

The carpet is going throughout the balcony.”

At the former Federal Building at 23 Brinkerhoff St., the home of The Strand Center for the Arts, the second floor is gutted.

Upon completion, the second floor will feature a dedicated Maker Space, music classroom, and a Smart classroom/flex space.

“The second floor is nearing complete interior demo,” McNichols said.

“They removed nearly all of the non bearing interior walls to open up the two wings. Ultimately, we're still in the process of planning that second floor.

“We actually just formed a community committee to help make some of those final decisions collectively.”

These upgrades underscore the Strand's mission, “To Engage, Enrich and Entertain” the community through the arts.

The multi-faceted organization now delivers on that promise with the DRI grant.

“The whole DRI program from the state level was delayed due to COVID,” McNichols said.

“We are concentrating on executing what we've started and then we'll get to other things in due time.”

New York State Housing and Community Renewal, who oversees this grant process, granted the Strand further permissions to make infrastructure and facilities improvements, including internal systems, updated accessibility standards, and permanent signage to transition the façade from Federal Building to The Strand Center for the Arts.

Norsk Titanium dedicated funds toward a large-scale 3D printer, and the Strand has ongoing plans for similar equipment across mediums.

Project professionals include Fred Keil Architect, AES NorthEast, LeGault Construction, Dow Electric, KAS Engineering, Lake Champlain Roofing, and Syracuse Scenery and Stage Lighting, Murnane Building Contractors, Bruce Building, MLB Inc, Ametal Construction Corp, General Engineers’ Construction, Raville Painting, Ace Electric, and The Wood Lab.

The Strand Board is thrilled with the spring push since it shuttered its venues to large gatherings in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Hope was kept alive with a string of Pop-Up events to engage masked and socially distanced artists, artisans and patrons.

Now, the Strand embarks on a new chapter with polish and pizzazz.

“It's been a long time coming, and we're proud of the work we did to get there,” McNichols said.

Email Robin Caudell:

rcaudell@pressrepublican.com

Twitter:@RobinCaudell

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