The deteriorated wooden crosstie wall that used to greet guests at the Highlands Playhouse is being replaced. The new wall will be made of stone to match the walls along Oak Street in front of the Highlands Police Department and on Third Street.
Town Manager Josh Ward said the cost of the project is $110,000 and has been budgeted out of the general fund.
Construction began last week and Ward expects work to continue for approximately a month. He added that the old wall was over 20 years old and could potentially fall down if not replaced.
Playhouse Managing Director Lance Matzke said the construction is located next to the entrance to the theater’s parking lot and that he asked construction crews for a favor.
“We asked them to take breaks during showtimes,” said Matzke. “You can hear the vibrations through the walls, but after I asked they have been really good about it.”
For the week since construction began Matzke said the Playhouse’s ticket sales have not drastically suffered. However, he does want to assure the community that the Playhouse is open offering a full schedule of showtimes.
“The construction scared me when they first started but it hasn’t affected us much,” said Matzke. “You can’t see our marquis but we are open for business.”
Town crews have torn down the old wall and MJM Poured Wall Co. is contracted to build the new rock wall.
Highlands Playhouse will move its productions to the Highlands Performing Art Center after their 81st season in 2019. The PAC is being currently being renovated and won’t be finished for over a year. Ward said the town has not decided what to do with the Playhouse building after the theater group moves out.
“Nothing has been determined,” he said. “It will take 18 months to complete the PAC, so it will be some time before anything is discussed.”
Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
Follow us on Instagram: @plateaudailynews
Like us on Facebook here