09/05/07 — StageStruck building demolition gets approval

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StageStruck building demolition gets approval

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on September 5, 2007 2:11 PM

The Goldsboro Historic District Commission granted permission Tuesday to StageStruck Theater for Young People to demolish two old buildings behind the Paramount Theater and rebuild on the same site.

The children's theater organization had to move to 110 N. James St. after the fire that destroyed the old Paramount spread to their building. The city building inspector had already granted permission to demolish the old buildings, because the structures were no longer safe.

Barton Baldwin of StageStruck told the commission that the organization has insurance money from the fire, and that a fund-raiser has already netted 40 percent of the project's $225,000 goal to rebuild.

"And we've been raising money only about a month," he noted.

Project Manager Bill Royall of Daniels and Daniels Construction Co. said if he can get started right away, he expects to take five months to rebuild.

David Weil, who is supporting the rebuilding of the Paramount, spoke to the commission after giving the Goldsboro City council an update on that project.

"This is so important to the total package to bring the arts back to Wayne County," he said.

The new 6,500-square-foot building replacing 121 and 117 Chestnut Street will be connected to the Paramount by a covered breezeway. The new Stage Struck building will also have a catering kitchen and will provide access and storage space for Paramount productions.

Royall, who is also a StageStruck parent, pointed out to the commission members that the original Paramount did not have a catering kitchen.

"This also gives them an opportunity to use Stage Struck for rehearsal. They can build sets and take them right into the Paramount through a double door to the Paramount and another double door to the back of the stage," he said.

The breezeway will be covered, because a lot of productions take place in winter. The covering will also protect the building from indigents, he said.

"The general overall structure outside will not be as upscale and fancy as the Paramount. We're budget-driven, and StageStruck funds will never equal those of Paramount," he said.

But the commission members had a problem with the outside plan. It had too much stucco, which is not an approved material for the historic district.

So they voted unanimously to allow the demolition of the old buildings with the understanding that they will be replaced by a new one.

A certificate of appropriateness was approved for the demolition with no stipulations. But the certification of appropriatness for the new building was approved with the stipulation that the company return later with the final building plans.

Royall said he believes he can have the plan ready in time.

"I'm anticipating an October start," he said.