McCook Renovates Local Theater to Accomplish Greater Community Participation

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McCook Renovates Local Theater to Accomplish Greater Community Participation

When a community cares enough to provide all citizens with equal access to all public facilities, the resulting pride is self-evident.

This success is just one example of McCook, Nebraska’s many accomplishments. Their story began with discussion about renovating the Fox Theater. The goal was to remove architectural barriers that previously prevented total participation of the entire community, along with some visitors and performers. It also would bring the building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The City of McCook formed a team comprised of grant writer Rebecca Weimers; the Alliance for the Encouragement of the Visual and Performing Arts (AEVPA)/ Fox Theatre Foundation; Lloyd Benjamin, an architecture/engineering professional; Miller & Associates; and McCook Contracting.

A Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) was awarded by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development on November 15, 2010.

The $254,300 CDBG award was locally matched with $81,900 previously dedicated on behalf of the Alliance for the Encouragement of the Visual and Performing Arts (AEVPA) and the Fox Theatre Foundation, along with an “In-Kind Contribution” of $24,000 donated by Lloyd Benjamin for Architectural/ Engineering Services. Additional community funds totaling more than $190,000 helped complete the construction activities, and meet financial obligations with the contractor, McCook Contracting, LLC.

The renovation activities were accomplished by the end of November 2012, which is a major contributor to eliminating substandard conditions to the downtown.

Appreciation for community pride in the project poured in, which included the following comments:

“The improvements at the Fox Theater have made it a state –of- the-art facility. You have made it very easy for handicapped people to attend concerts or other activities at the Fox. The removing of chairs so people like me in a wheelchair do not feel we are standing out in the crowd helps a lot. Adding a ramp for the fire exit has made it much safer to attend for handicap people. My wife and I are really proud of the improvements to the Fox Theater. Our hats are off to everyone for the job they have done on the improvements.”