Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Robinson Grand restoration bids due Dec. 22

The Exponent Telegram, November 14th 2016


CLARKSBURG — The Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center’s capital campaign will begin its public phase in early 2017 to continue raising money for the $15 million multi-use facility for North Central West Virginia.

Clarksburg City Manager Martin Howe said a recent economic study shows that the renovation and restoration project for the former theater will have a $32 million impact over the first five years of its operation.

It is slated for a soft opening in the spring of 2018. The formal opening is planned in the fall with a national headliner, according to Kathleen DuBois, planning and capital campaign consultant, who has been working with the project team since Nov. 2015.

“Since April, we have been in the planning stages. Part of the project will be funded by private contributions. We are refining the campaign structure and have recruited a steering committee. Volunteer leaders are Woody Thrasher and Michael and Denah D’Annunzio,” DuBois said. “We’re seeing how things are going with silent contributors to determine exactly when the kickoff will occur. That is when we will announce the amount raised to date.”

Study Says Robinson Grand Project will have Multi-Million Dollar Impact

By Victoria Cann, Staff Writer, The Exponent Telegram, Thursday, August 25, 2016

Robinson Grand Study

Staff photo by Victoria Cann

CLARKSBURG — The Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center will create $32 million in economic activity in its first five years, as well as $1.3 million in economic impact on an annual basis, according to a study.

“Over the first five-year chunk for the Robinson Grand, this is going to contribute $32 million in economic activity to the region. It’s going to contribute about 55 jobs per year to the region — 221 jobs altogether if you think in job years,” said John Deskins, director of WVU’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, on Wednesday.

Deskins said that overall spending will be around $25 million, which will support 171 jobs over a five-year time period. The first number he presented came from the construction time period, or the renovation economic impact. He said that will create $500,000 in additional tax revenue for the state.

“This is underestimated. All the tax numbers that I present are low estimates because we are just looking at state tax revenue. We are not accounting for local tax revenue as well,” Deskins said.

The second phase he touched on was the impact of operational expenditures.

That refers to money that will be coming in “every year indefinitely” on a year-to-year basis as long as operation of the Robinson Grand continues, he said.

A total of “$1.3 million in annual economic impact, $1.3 million that’s being earned in the Harrison County economy on an annual basis on directly a result of the Robinson Grand, and $21,000 in state tax revenue annually directly as a result of this project,” Deskins said.

The third and final phase that Deskins talked about was the out-of-region tourism baseline. That accounts for visitors who will come to Harrison County from elsewhere to attend events at the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center; it does not include Harrison County residents who will visit the theater.

“These impacts are associated with just out-of-the region people, and we are estimating $75,000 in annual business activity that’s going to occur here in Harrison County from all the tourists, with over $1,000 in taxes just as a result of that,” Deskins said. “Over the five years, $600,000 in tax revenue for our state as a direct result of the Robinson Grand.”


Robinson Grand Theater Bid for Entire Project Will Go Out on September 8th

By Lisa Troshinsky, Staff Writer, The Exponent Telegram, August 15, 2016

RGT-Bid Article

Photo courtesy of Lisa Troshinsky

CLARKSBURG — Progress on the Robinson Grand Theater reopening is moving rapidly, as the city plans to start the bidding on the entire project in the fall, according to Clarksburg City Manager Martin Howe.

The legal bid will go out Sept. 8, said Anthony Bellotte, assistant city manager. Construction will be fully underway in late November.

“We will advertise the bid on the complete renovation and restoration of the theater in September,” Howe said. “Then we’ll have a mandatory pre-bid meeting for any interested contractors. It will be a turn-key project — every item under construction will be included in the bid packet. This will include the entire exterior and entire interior of the theater.”


City’s Effort to Bring New Life to the Robinson Grand Theater Includes New Website

By Clarksburg Connect Staff, August 11, 2016


Photo courtesy of Joe McNemar, D-Max Photography and the City of Clarksburg


Unlike any other city in West Virginia, the city of Clarksburg is putting it’s money where it’s mouth is when it comes to promoting the arts and using that investment as a way to bring new life into the city’s downtown.

Led by the mayor and the city council, Clarksburg has undertaken the purchase and renovation of the former Robinson Grand Theater located on West Pike Street in downtown.  This beautiful early 20th century structure is the crown jewel of the revitalization of Clarksburg’s downtown business district.  And the city council, leading by example, is banking on private investment to enhance the more than $15 million the city will make into the Robinson Grand – now referred to as The Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center.

The renovation of the building is a joint venture between the city of Clarksburg and the Cultural Foundation of Harrison County.  On Thursday, a new website was announced for the venture.  CLICK HERE to visit the new website.

The website includes a history of the Robinson Grand which is printed below.


WYK Associates Designs Bright Future from Historic Past

By Brittany Murray, Staff Writer, The Exponent Telegram, March 27, 2016

wyk article picture

Staff Photo by Brittany Murray

CLARKSBURG — Many buildings in Clarksburg and the surrounding area were designed by WYK Associates, and after 116 years, the company is still impacting the region’s horizon.  “We don’t really specialize in one thing,” WYK President James Swiger said. “We do a lot of commercial work; we do some residential, but not a lot. There’s a wide variety of projects we work on.”

Since 1900, the company has designed everything from churches and schools to fire stations and industrial structures. In addition to architectural design, WYK does master planning and 3D printing.  “We are architects, and we focus on doing what we’re trained at,” Swiger said. “We have a team of consultants that we pull in for the expertise that fits the project the best.”  WYK Associates is working on plans for the new Harrison/Taylor 911 Center and the Duff Street Methodist Church, as well as renovations for the Robinson Grand Theater.  “I personally like the restorations more because it’s more of a challenge than a new building,” Swiger said. “The Robinson Grand has been challenging, but it’s a fun project and a very unique project.”


City Officials, Citizens Costly Discuss Robinson Grand Renovations

By Jim Davis, Staff Writer, The Exponent Telegram, November 24, 2015


picture from paper

Staff Photo by Jim Davis


CLARKSBURG — A planned restoration of the former Robinson Grand Theater would cost taxpayers about $365,400 a year, citizens learned Tuesday evening.  The city of Clarksburg is applying for a $7.5 million loan with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, officials with the city and federal agency said during a public hearing at Clarksburg City Hall.  If approved, the loan is to be repaid over 35 years at 3.25 percent interest, the officials said.  “The application for funding was submitted to the USDA,” City Manager Martin Howe told a standing-room-only crowd.  The hearing was held as part of the loan application process with the Department of Agriculture, Howe said.  The Clarksburg Municipal Building Commission is applying for the loan because Clarksburg City Council can’t assume long-term debt.  But the building commission doesn’t have any money, meaning the city has to back all loans.  “The building commission will have to consider the loan once the USDA approves it, as well as the city council to appropriate the funds to pay the debt service for the building,” Howe said.


Public Hearing Set Tuesday on Robinson Grand Project

By Jim Davis, Staff Writer, Exponent Telegram, November 23, 2015


Staff photo by Jim Davis, The Exponent Telegram


CLARKSBURG — Clarksburg officials will have a public hearing Tuesday on the planned restoration of the Robinson Grand Theater.  The 5:30 p.m. public hearing will give citizens an opportunity to learn more about the city’s plans to put the downtown landmark back into use.  “This will afford another opportunity in which an overview of the project will be provided,” City Manager Martin Howe said. “We’ve had multiple conversations in the past, most recently at a work session.“There will be future discussions as the project progresses,” Howe added.  The hearing — which will be on the second floor of the Clarksburg Municipal Building — is part of the city’s loan-application process with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Expanded Basement in Robinson Grand doable, officials say

By Jim Davis, Staff Writer, The Exponent Telegram, August 29, 2015

Staff Photo by Jim Davis

Staff Photo by Jim Davis

CLARKSBURG — A geotechnical report supports the construction of dressing rooms in the basement of the former Robinson Grand Theater, city and project officials said Friday.  While recent core drillings found the water table to be high, engineers will design a gravity-fed drainage system to divert water from the proposed basement, said James Swiger, president of WYK Associates.

The soil, meanwhile, is sandy, so the design team will come up with the appropriate foundation, Swiger said.  “We’ve got the information we need to design the new dressing rooms for the basement,” Swiger said.


Core Drillings Underway Inside Robinson Grand

By Jim Davis, Staff Writer, The Exponent Telegram, July 15, 2015

CLARKSBURG- Geotechnical engineers began exploring the makeup of the soil beneath the auditorium of the former Robinson Grand Theatre.

CLARKSBURG — Geotechnical engineers began exploring the makeup of the soil beneath the auditorium of the former Robinson Grand Theater Monday. Engineers with Larson Design Group of Morgantown and core drillers with Test Boring Services of Washington, Pennsylvania, are expected to complete the interior core borings Tuesday.

“The purpose of the borings is to see if we could potentially put a basement under the theater,” said Orin Kincade, project manager for WYK Associates. A basement would allow for the expansion of dressing rooms currently beneath the stage and accommodate an orchestral pit and restrooms for people with disabilities, Kincade said.

Workers are drilling at six locations inside the West Pike Street landmark. Plans for a basement look promising, based on the first boring, said L. Jane Hicks, with Larson Design Group. A 10-foot dig would be necessary for a basement, and drillers went 15 feet before hitting weathered, or soft, rock, Hicks said. “Based on the first boring, it looks good for what they want to do,” she said. “The material we sampled would be easy for them to excavate.” But Hicks stressed there were five more core drillings to do.


Historic Restoration Underway – Contract Signed

City Manager Martin Howe and WYK Associates, Inc.’s President and Principal-in-Charge James Swiger sign the contract for the restoration of the former Robinson Grand Theatre under the watchful eye of Mayor Catherine Goings.

City Manager Martin Howe and WYK Associates, Inc.’s President and Principal-in-Charge James Swiger sign the contract for the restoration of the former Robinson Grand Theatre under the watchful eye of Mayor C. Goings.

A memorable day at Clarksburg City Hall, as City Manager Martin Howe and WYK Associates, Inc.’s President and Principal-in-Charge James Swiger sign the contract for the restoration of the former Robinson Grand Theatre under the watchful eye of Mayor Catherine Goings. The restoration project will be a keystone to the urban renewal of Clarksburg’s downtown district.

Over the course of approximately the next 16 months, the local architectural planning firm will lead a team of consultants to update the building with state-of-the-art technology, while keeping the historic integrity intact. Together, they will distill the vision of the future center for arts and entertainment in the region into an visual experience, a tangible model and finally into a building plan that – once executed – will convert the century-old landmark into the cultural heart of Harrison County and the entire region. (more…)