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Contract awarded for Keith-Albee roof job

Feb. 02, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- By this summer, the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center will have a new roof.

The nonprofit entity that oversees the historic theater on 4th Avenue in downtown Huntington opened bids for the project Friday afternoon. PAR Roofing of Huntington, which submitted the lowest bid among four contractors, was awarded the project at a price of $532,300. The work will include full replacement of the theater's multiple roof sections, including the marquee roof.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, the West Virginia House of Delegates and the state Senate are contributing $100,000 each toward the project in addition to grant funds from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, a $25,000 contribution from the City of Huntington and private donations.

"We still need to raise about $75,000, but we feel very comfortable going into this project," said Wayne County Sen. Bob Plymale, co-president of the Keith-Albee Foundation. "We're pleased that we've gotten to this point and are moving forward."

The roof has been a concern for the foundation since it took over the 85-year-old theater in 2006. Two years ago, it hired Edward Tucker Architects to assess what it would take to replace the roof without compromising the historic features of the building. The foundation was able to replace the roof above the stage, but the architectural firm found that various roof sections on the rest of the building needed more attention and would be more costly to repair.

The roof work will begin in about six weeks and is projected to be completed by mid-June, Plymale said. It will clear the way for additional renovations on the inside of the theater, he said.

"We are going to start putting together a committee to set our priorities," Plymale said. "Obviously, we will focus on some other infrastructure items such as plumbing, electrical and plaster work before we move on to the cosmetic things. The committee will affix an estimated cost to everything and go from there."

Follow H-D reporter Bryan Chambers on Facebook or Twitter @BryanChambersHD.