New Munjoy Hill Performance Hall In The Works
You know how you always pass construction sites and think, "What're they workin' on there?"
Well, I'm here to give you answers. Pending approval by the city's Historic Preservation Commission and a whole lot of fund raising, St. Lawrence Church on the top of Munjoy Hill will be building a new performance hall, according to Press Herald. Just Tuesday, they received unanimous approval from the Portland Planning Board.
This comes after much revision to an original proposal that was met five years ago with mixed reviews and failed to win approval from the Portland Planning Board. This new plan for a more aesthetically-pleasing structure will boast a capacity of 401 seats and a glass-walled promenade banquet room on the top floor. The banquet room will be available for corporate events to generate income for the nonprofit. Between reservations, the space will provide a much-needed affordable venue for other nonprofits and school groups to host their own fundraisers, Press Herald reports. The existing 110-seat performance center in the existing church will continue to be used for concerts and other performances.
The next big hurdle for Friends of St. Lawrence will be to raise the $10 million needed for the project. The approval by the Planning Board is good for only one year, potentially extended for an additional three, but if construction doesn't start before then, Friends of St Lawrence would have to start the process all over again, according to Press Herald. Luckily, Development Director Julia Kirby is confident they'll reach their goal.
“I think that we’re very optimistic – that’s why we’re bold enough to go through this process and make an investment into this,” she said. “We’re a small organization with a big vision and we’re working very hard.”
So there you have it. Look out for fund raisers by the Friends of St. Lawrence in the coming year, and new construction next to the existing Gothic-style establishment after that!