GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
All the world’s a stage, and after more than half a century, Robinson Theatre will be better than ever after the completion of the Setting the Stage project. CMU President, John Marshall says, “The reality is at 54 years old, this is a tired facility. So, we’re excited to celebrate this last season coming up in the fall before we tear down the theatre, and build in it’s place a new, more modern, more robust facility that will serve as a cultural engine for decades to come.”
The “tired” theatre’s orchestra pit takes on water, the building lost it’s third boiler in the winter, and as the temperature heats up the AC won’t keep up, so the capital campaign to rebuild Robinson Theatre is in full swing, but it’s gonna take a ton of cash. “We were fortunate enough to get a key seed grant from the state of Colorado in $40 million.,” said President Marshall. “The university will be putting our cash up as well, and we’re hoping to raise about $8 million from private philanthropy. So, that means the community, the university, and the state of Colorado all serve as critical funding partners in this project.” Doug and Jamee Simons with Enstrom Candies Inc. helped expand CMU three decades ago, and they’re planning to help again with the Robinson Theatre rebuild. “We’re going to represent the community arm of this effort to raise the additional funds to put this project over the top, and make it a reality for this community,” said Doug Simons.
Partners of the set the stage project say they’re not just investing in the future of performing arts, they’re bringing culture to the community, and it’s more important now than ever. “We helped raise funds to start the expansion west of 7th street, and over the last 30 years you can see the fruits of that initial labor, and what’s happened to this campus over time,” said Doug. “It’s phenomenal, and obviously we’re not done yet.”
Simons says the rebuild will enhance the local economy by enticing more productions to come to town and recruit more professionals to the valley, but for Doug and Jamee it means so much more. “I was in the nursing program, but played the bassoon, which is a valuable instrument in an orchestra, or a band,” said Jamee reminiscing. So, Doug and I make googly eyes at each other through a semester, and the rest is history.”
The design for the rebuild is wrapping up in the next few months, demolition is coming this winter, and after a two-year construction process by 2024, the new $50 million dollar Robinson Theatre will once again go down in the pages of history.
Source: Grand Junction Local News | Rebuild Robinson Theatre