Grantville has received a $32,190 Historic Structures Planning Grant for the restoration of the Sara O’Kelley Municipal Auditorium.
The grant was awarded by the Fox Theatre Institute , a division of Atlanta’s Fox Theatre Inc. It is the first grant the institute has awarded to Grantville.
The Fox Theatre Institute is a outreach program offering historic preservation expertise, consultation and education to performing arts venues in Georgia and the region.
In September, Lord Aeck Sargent, a full-service architectural and design firm, was approved to develop plans restore the freight depot and the Sara O'Kelley Municipal Auditorium.
City Manager Al Grieshaber said an architectural firm had to be named to do the work before the grant application could be submitted.
The firm was recommended by the Fox Theatre Institute. The city manager said the architect’s mission “will be to maintain a structure’s historic integrity while making it functional.”
Grieshaber said the grant will allow the city to open the doors to the historic structure.
“We are grateful for the funding opportunity that allows us to continue the restoration of historic structures in the city of Grantville,” he said.
The grant will assist the City of Grantville in undertaking a project that includes professional consulting and plans for the renovation and restoration of the Sara O'Kelley Municipal Auditorium.
Grieshaber said the planning process will begin in January and the project is projected to be complete by June 1.
The auditorium was named in honor of the late Mrs. Sara Holle O’Kelly in 2006 to commemorate her contribution to the community as an educator.
The Fox Theatre Institute also has awarded a $29,125 grant to the city of Hogansville – just down the road from Grantville – to help prepare a master plan and biddable plans for immediate work for the Royal Theater. The Royal, which now belongs to the city, was built in 1937 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.