BOONE, NC — The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country, Inc. (ATHC) announced at their board meeting on Wednesday that all the necessary building permits have been issued by the Town of Boone for the final phase of renovations to the historic venue. Board chair John Cooper reported that Vannoy Construction Company has been selected as the general contractor for the project. Vannoy begins work Monday, July 30, and anticipates completion of renovations in time for the theatre to reopen as scheduled in the late summer of 2019.
Cooper said that the capital campaign had topped the nine million dollar threshold with enough cash on hand and signed pledge forms to complete building construction. He noted that the organization is still raising funds for furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FFE) along with non-recurring start-up costs and operational expenses.
Newly-hired Executive Director Laura Kratt is working on a priority ticket purchasing policy for all theater events that will reward early contributors to the capital campaign. Since public tours will soon be suspended or limited to small, hard hat tours for prospective donors, Kratt encouraged supporters to visit the Appalachian Theatre website www.apptheatre.org for periodic updates with behind the scenes photos and videos of construction progress.
Mark Vannoy, owner of Vannoy Construction remarked, “Our company is based right here in the High Country, and we are proud to be entrusted by the Board of Trustees of the Appalachian Theatre with the renovation and restoration of such a venerable landmark in our region. I look forward to joining our employees, their families, current and future generations of arts supporters at performances in this historic theatre.”
James Morgan, Vannoy's liaison for the pre-construction phase of the project, has been working closely with the Appalachian Theatre Design and Construction Committee. He says, “The high level of board participation and community engagement is impressive, as is their sincere desire to balance the historic preservation of the venue with the need for modern theatrical systems and audience comfort. It's going to be a marvelous facility about which all of us will be very proud.”
ATHC Vice Chair Frank Mohler, head of the Design and Construction Committee, recalled the words of Clarence Coffey, the original architect, who said in 1938 that the Appalachian would be “the most modern one thus far erected in western North Carolina.” Mohler feels that the 2018 version of the theatre would make Coffey proud as his original design is modernized.
According to Mohler, “The final phase consists of renovation and/or expansion of everything behind the facade and marquee on King Street. It includes demolition of parts of the existing building, the construction of rear and side additions to the stage, installation of modern theatre systems and equipment, and new finishes throughout the theatre while bringing everything in the facility up to code.”
Based in Jefferson with North Carolina offices in Asheville, Charlotte, and Winston-Salem, as well as Anderson, SC, Vannoy Construction is a premiere commercial general contractor covering the southeast region and beyond. Founded in 1952, the company is known for a variety of corporate, educational, government, healthcare, hospitality, industrial, and retail projects. Their vast experience with adaptive reuse will prove invaluable with the Appalachian Theatre project.
Among their many local projects are Roess Dining Hall and the Living & Learning Center at Appalachian State University, Ashe County Courthouse, Grandfather Golf and Country Club, NC Highway 221 and US Highway 21, Samaritan's Purse Furman Building and their Warehouse, and Watauga High School.
The mission of the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country is “to provide a quality venue for a variety of artistic genres; to contribute to the region by promoting and strengthening the area’s unique cultural identity and creative history; to enhance business in downtown Boone and the High Country; to provide a cultural hub for the area; and to find new life for a historic building while maintaining its financial sustainability and maximizing its economic impact.”
Additional information about the Appalachian Theatre, their ongoing capital campaign, and photos and videos of construction progress may be found on the theatre’s new website, www.apptheatre.org.