Committee formed to expedite project at Opera House

December 19, 2012

The Opera House project appears to finally be moving forward, following a workshop on Monday that included the Granbury City Council and others involved in the renovation endeavor.

An agreement was reached on a design that incorporates some of Mayor Rickie Pratt’s suggestions, plans drawn by architect Brian Gaffin and recommendations by new council member Gary Couch. Those recommendations involve a concession stand and box office – areas that had been of concern to a number of Opera House advocates.

City Manager Wayne McKethan said “improved detail” for the project will also include a rehearsal hall on the second floor that will be the same size as the stage below. This, he said, will allow for rehearsals while stage shows are under way.

The council voted unanimously to form a committee to expedite the project, which has seen months of delay. Couch, who was appointed to the committee, said the group intends to be well-prepared when coming before the council on anything requiring its approval.

The committee met Monday afternoon following the workshop and will meet again later in the week, Couch said. He stated that the group “will meet as often as necessary” to finalize plans and to save as much money as possible through bidding processes.

“We feel like we’re close to something that will appease everybody,” Couch said of the design.

Bill Scott of Scott Tucker Construction Company has been tasked with getting pricing on metal buildings with stone veneers that might be less costly than the originally planned concrete block building behind the Opera House. There will be an expansion joint to handle any shifting that may occur between the new building and the 120-year-old Opera House.

The construction company is under contract for a price not to exceed $2.2 million. Couch said that a metal building may bring “some substantial savings.”

He added that there was “really good energy” between those who participated in the workshop.

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