Community Projects of Havre de Grace joined elected officials, city staff and citizens Tuesday to mark a milestone in the effort to renovate the Havre de Grace Opera House.Mayor Wayne Dougherty and the nonprofit
As of Oct. 22, the capital campaign for renovating the old opera house on Union Avenue is officially underway, and there's a thermometer outside the building at 121 North Union Avenue to track its progress toward $3 million mark.
In its current form, the historic building is underutilized and poses safety hazards, according to a city funding request, which the state granted earlier this year.
So far, the state has contributed $250,000; the city gave $250,000; and Harford County provided $250,000.
"We are the perfect example of collaborative effort," Delegate Mary-Dulany James said, standing in front of the opera house with County Executive David Craig, County Councilwoman Mary Ann Lisanti and Mayor Wayne Dougherty.
During an event to raise awareness about the capital campaign Tuesday morning, Community Projects of Havre de Grace—the nonprofit group that organized the Harris Stadium project—introduced its newest offshoot: the Opera House Foundation.
The foundation will help raise the remainder of the $3 million to renovate the brick building, which has served as a performance venue, City Hall headquarters and school since 1871.
"There's not a thing that will not be touched in this theater," Bill Price, chair of the Opera House Foundation, told Patch.
The foundation is seeking members and donations. It hopes to raise the necessary funds by April 2015, when the renovations will begin.