Magnolia Civic Center getting expanded stage, other improvements

Renovation and expansion of the Magnolia Civic Center stage, other than painting, should be ready this week

The civic center board voted to enlarge the stage and particularly extend the areas on the two edges to give more room for performances. At the same time the stage is being reinforced and efforts are being made to dampen sound. The reinforced stage will be adequate to hold a motorized lift unit acquired to afford better access to lighting and rigging over the stage. In the past, scaffolding or long ladders have had to be used.

The extension will require removing a couple of seats on the front two rows for fire safety and handicapped accessibility but the board is discussing reconfiguring the seating anyway. They are talking about creating a center aisle for easier accessibility to middle seats but this probably will not require the loss of any more seats because the two outside aisles are wide enough.

Another improvement is providing outside access to the storage area under the stage at ground level on the west side of the building. In the past, access was through an opening in the floor of the dressing area.

In connection with that, a rollup loading door will be installed offstage on the west side of the building to facilitate moving large set pieces and materials in and out of the building. Because the stage is on the second floor above ground level, some sort of lift will be needed at the loading door to end the practice of hoisting items up by brute force.

Building a ramp was discussed but a ramp to meet building codes would have to be about 80 feet long plus having landings and there is not sufficient room for that.

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