Alfond group pledges $2M for Opera House
BY AMY CALDER Staff Writer
WATERVILLE — The Harold Alfond Foundation is pledging $2 million toward a $4 million Opera House renovation and expansion project, Foundation Chairman Gregory Powell announced Wednesday.
In keeping with the late Harold Alfond’s practice of offering matching grants, the donation means the foundation will match every dollar raised by the Opera House project, up to $2 million.
Powell, speaking to more than 50 city and Opera House officials, representatives of Waterville organizations, actors and others who turned out at the Opera House for the event, urged the community to follow suit.
“We hope our commitment to match every donation will inspire all members of this community who have enjoyed the Opera House over the years to support the renovation of this historic theater,” Powell said.
Opera House officials already have raised about $1 million toward the work, which will include installing a freight elevator to access the stage, improve egress to meet fire codes, update the rigging system and improve balcony seating.
An addition also will be built to house dressing rooms, which now are situated on the side of the stage. New public restrooms will be built in the addition, and the theater’s lobby will be enlarged.