Since 2005, trustees have secured $6,146,545 of the projected $6,702,390 total project cost—from the acquisition, care and stewardship, hazardous materials removal, demolition, design —and construction. The financial support has come from grants ($2,137,980) awarded by 36 foundations, from New Hampshire’s Community Development Financing Authority Tax Credit Program ($840,000 net), from individual donations ($1,168,565) given by 82 businesses and over 2,600 individuals from 39 New Hampshire towns and 26 states across the country, and, finally, from the project qualifying for a $2,000,000 low-interest, long-term loan from the USDA’s Office of Rural Development Community Facilities Program.
The Park Theatre is a recognized, charitable 501 (c) (3) corporation, # 20-305380. Financial support comes primarily from donors and institutional supporters. Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
The design/engineering for The Park Theatre’s new facility is completed. Subcontractor bid results were incorporated into final building plans submitted to the Town and the project has received the guaranteed maximum price from its contractor. The site was cleared and cleaned of all hazardous materials and is now ready for construction. The facility will be built according to the gold level of LEED standards. The construction is scheduled to begin in early 2018 and will take approximately 10 months.
The plan for The Park Theatre is fully compliant with all local, state and federal building requirements. The Town of Jaffrey has issued a building permit. Hutter Construction Company is managing contractor. Steve Horton is the Theatre’s Owner Representative. BKA Architects is chief architect. TF Moran provides the engineering expertise. Construction financing is made possible by Savings Bank of Walpole. Financial and accounting services are provided by Lynn C. Rust, CPA PC. Legal services are provided by the Tower, Crocker & Smith, the Law Offices of Thomas R. Hanna, and Fernald, Taft, Falby & Little, PA.
More funding will be needed. There are features and theatrical equipment that must be acquired soon after the construction starts. There are also other items that can be addressed later, such as installation of the four 1941 WPA murals and the Fifth Mountain Mural created to honor the Theatre’s history. Those and other optional items and finishing touches will be added as the needs present themselves and funding permits. The estimated cost of all those optional and future elements is about $1m. But all that is for later. The goal now is to make this brand new facility fully functional—and comfortable for our community.
Two years after the decision to rebuild and reopen The Park Theatre was made, trustees mounted an unbroken series of theatrical seasons from February though the first week of December each year at locations all around downtown Jaffrey. In January 2017 trustees also created the River Street Theatre, a 28-seat facility in the heart of downtown to ‘bridge’ the time until construction starts and deliver a sampling of ‘things to come’. Those theatrical seasons attracted over 14,000 people into downtown. Now River Street Theatre has attracted an additional 2,000 people. Over the past ten years, a total of 16,000 patrons have brought an estimated $200,000 in commerce to downtown merchants. That impact is consistent with the findings of three economic impact studies commissioned by Arts Alive! and the NH Council of the Arts and undertaken by Americans for the Arts during 2009, 2011 and 2015. The Park Theatre participated in all of those studies.