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BLT preps for next phase of Haven work

The second phase of an extensive restoration plan for the HavenTheater officially began this week with the gutting of an adjacentproperty and the removal of decades of debris from within thetheater.

“We’re preparing for upcoming renovations,” said Sha Walker,vice president of Brookhaven Little Theatre’s board of directors.”We’re removing years of garbage that has piled up so we can seewhat we’ve got and start the restoration process.”

Walker said the gutting of the old Posey Place – an unused,2,500-square-foot building directly east of the theater entrancethat will be taken in – and the cleaning of the theater’s interiorspaces will precede bid openings on June 10 and 17. The bids willseek a general contractor to complete Phase Two – the restorationof the theater’s front facade, entrance and ticket booth.

Walker said the board hopes to award the contract sometime inJuly, adding that the project should be completed in 90 days orless. The desired end date for the complete restoration of thetheater’s facade – not including the marquee, which will requireits own restoration project – is late October, Walker said.

“I feel pretty good about where we’re at,” Walker said. “Theboard feels good about the plan for the facade, and thisenhancement is going to greatly improve the theater’s appearancefrom the street. This project will go a long way toward beautifyingour downtown district.”

Walker said Phase Three of the restoration plan – which will seeinterior renovations – is scheduled to begin in 2009. Phase Threewill restore the theater’s lobby area, including the added Poseyspace, bathroom and concession area.

Phases four and five will follow sometime in the future, andwill include improvements to the theater’s stage, dressing rooms,bathrooms, concession area and lighting and sound.