City okays revised plans for Opera House

February 9, 2013

Audience members applauded Tuesday night when the Granbury City Council voted unanimously on design recommendations made by the Opera House Development Committee.

The move pushed the long-delayed project forward in the architectural drawing and bid process.

It has been a frustrating road to get the historic Opera House renovated and in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

Along the way, there have been changes in perspective, heated disagreements and missteps.

The Opera House, once a major tourism draw for Granbury, has been closed about a year.

The council recently formed a committee in an attempt to finally get the project on the right path.

“We’ve produced a floor plan that I believe meets all needs,” said the council’s newest member, Gary Couch. He is a member of the Opera House Development Committee, and it was he who made the motion – seconded by Mickey Parson – to move forward with the plans made by the committee. Those plans include another 600 square feet, a pit near the stage at a cost of $198,000 and a $60,000 elevator.

“We’re building a theater for the future, so I’d like for everyone to keep that in mind as we look at these numbers,” Couch stated as the council began the discussion prior to the vote being taken.

The price tag, which had been $2.2 million, is now $3 million with the new plans.

However, city officials are hoping that supporters who have been willing to give generously to the project in the past might again be willing to chip in.

The motion that was approved by the council was to approve the new floor plans. The council did not approve spending $3 million.

“The cost could be lower,” City Manager Wayne McKethan said.

After conferring Thursday morning with Bill Scott of the Scott Tucker Construction Company in Fort Worth, McKethan said that the drawings will probably take four to five weeks and the bidding process about three weeks.

“So, seven to eight weeks of that process,” McKethan stated.

He added that while those processes are under way, Scott is going to “get started early on certain things,” such as removing air conditioning units from the roof and dealing with certain structural issues.

McKethan said that Scott has already done analysis work and taken core samples and feels confident that there will be no surprises that could cause significant delays.

“He has built buildings next to 400-year-old buildings. He has a lot of experience in this,” the city manager said.

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