San Antonio Business Journal
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Fort Sam Houston’s historic theater to receive new lease on life San Antonio
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $16.9 million contract to a construction company to renovate and expand the historic theater at Fort Sam Houston.
RKJ Construction Inc. in Lampasas, Texas, has been tapped to renovate and expand the property, which holds the distinction of being one of the first movie theaters built by the U.S. Army. The theater is 75 years old but has been vacant for more than two decades.
The project will involve re-configuring the original movie theater to accommodate theater productions.
The building will become the new home of the Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command’s Army Entertainment Division, which is moving to Fort Sam Houston from Fort Belvoir in Virginia as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure decision. This division stages a touring musical production called the U.S. Army Soldier Show with a cast made up of active duty soldiers.
The renovated 14,700-square-foot theater will serve as the rehearsal hall for the cast of the annual production. The contractor will build an 18,000-square-foot addition that will provide space for offices, recording studios and storing equipment. The project should be completed by the fall of 2011.
The Army plans to retain many of the theater’s architecturally distinctive elements as part of the renovation. The theater was built in 1935 in a Spanish Colonial Revival style with a white stucco exterior, arched entry ways and a bell tower that’s reminiscent of Spanish missions.
The Fort Worth District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment and the Naval Facilities Engineering Command are all working to implement individual projects under the 2005 BRAC military construction program.