The Solvang Festival Theater rebuilding project remains in lockstep with a projected September construction date after the city's design review committee unanimously approved the development plan on March 11, following an approval by the city Planning Commission in February.
The $4.7 million project seeks to address the theater's aging infrastructure, improve accessibility and technical capabilities, as well as enhance audience experience.
According to a theater spokesman, the construction plan which is slated to break ground in September and be completed July 2022, will include new ADA-compliant ramp access to the theater and to the box office, and replacement of the deteriorating rear wall. The wall, according to project plans, will add an additional 8 feet in height with cantilevered panels on the top to help deflect wind, capture more warmth and buffer external noise.
Additionally, utility poles that now support the lighting platforms — erected during the original construction in 1974 — are set to be replaced with new steel lighting columns that will improve safety for audiences and performers.
Community-minded citizens of the Santa Ynez Valley are turning the disappointment of cancelled cruises and vacations into more generous charitable gifts in 2020 and 2021.
Committee member Esther Jacobsen Bates is anticipating the much-needed improvements.
“This will make such a difference in our community, not to mention be more safe,” Jacobsen Bates said.
According to the spokesman, the theater's fundraising capital campaign titled “IMAGINE! Building the Future,” has reached 69% of its $4.7 million goal so far.
The project plan was set to undergo a comprehensive review by the city's building and planning department on March 30.
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The renovation project, slated to begin construction in September and be completed in July 2022, will soon go to the City of Solvang Planning Department for review in March and will also be subject to review by the Design Review Committee before land use and building permits are issued.