Johnston Community College is working on a $9.4 million renovation of its Tart Building, home to the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium. And now it has a grant from the Johnston County Tourism Authority to help with the work.
The auditorium will use the $33,500 grant to help purchase a fire curtain. It’s one of many steps in a makeover that has JCC closing the 1,000-seat auditorium for months at a time.
“We just completed a lighting upgrade, and drapes and rigging are next,” Traci Ashley, a JCC spokeswoman, said in an email.
JCC will also replace the auditorium’s roof and heating and cooling systems and upgrade its electrical system.
“The auditorium renovations are being done in stages,” Ashley said. “Our plan is to go dark in summer through fall for renovations.”
This year, the auditorium closed in June and will remain closed through early 2017.
But in springtime especially, the auditorium is busy, and those events will go on, Ashley said. “The auditoriums will host dance recitals, Showcase of Start and graduations beginning in February,” she said.
In all, JCC expects the auditorium renovations to take a couple of more years.
The fire curtain will cost $100,000. County bond dollars and a gift from Donnie and Linda Lassiter of Selma will cover what the grant does not.
In all, the Tourism Authority recently awarded $81,615 in grants for capital projects. Other recipients are the:
▪ Archer Lodge Community Center, which will use its $1,500 to help build a concession stand at the park.
▪ Ava Gardner Museum, which received $10,000 to repair an exterior wall with a moisture problem.
▪ Benson Parks and Recreation Department, which will use its $18,750 to build a dog park off of Exit 79 on Interstate 95. The aim is to attract travelers with pets.
▪ Max G. Creech Historical Museum in Selma, which received $2,500 for repairs to its building, display counters and heating and cooling system.
▪ Tobacco Farm Life Museum, which received $5,365 to make the museum more accessible to tour groups. The work includes a second driveway from U.S. 301.
▪ Selma Parks and Recreation Department, which will use its $5,000 for fencing and new tennis courts on the old Harrison School campus.
▪ Town of Selma, which received $5,000 to help turn a historic building into a meeting and events space.