HILLSDALE — The city of Hillsdale has applied for a second grant to assist in rehabilitating the Dawn Theater in Hillsdale.
Alan Beeker, the city’s zoning administrator, said the Michigan Economic Development Corporation grant is specifically for the rehabilitation and blight removal of the building. The $1.4 million grant was awarded in 2019 and some work has began.
“As a theater there are still multiple things that will need to be installed in order to make it a functioning theater again,” Beeker said. “Some of those things are a stage curtain, audio equipment and projection equipment.”
None of those items are covered by the MEDC grant awarded in 2019, Beeker added.
The Dawn Theater Governance Board was tasked with fundraising to acquire the items needed and multiple grants are currently available for improvements to historic theaters.
So, the board applied for the Michigan Arts and Cultural Affairs grant this year in the amount of $100,000. The board was turned down for the same grant in 2019.
Foulke Construction was awarded a bid for rehabilitation of the facility in 2019 and had planned to begin work on April 1 with completion scheduled by April 2021.
However, due to the COVID-19 closures imposed by the state of Michigan, Foulke has yet to begin.
Foulke will begin the interior demolition of the theater at the beginning of next week.
“They are confident that they can still meet the original completion deadline,” Beeker said.
In addition to the grants, the board has secured a $200,000 loan from the Hillsdale Board of Public Utilities in case of overages and if needed to complete renovations.