The Estherville Lincoln Central Board of Education Monday heard a proposal from vocal music director Steve Bradburn for renovating the Little Theatre - but the board also asked for hard figures and another bidder before making a decision.
Bradburn again presented figures from Scholastic Equipment Co. that he had at a prior meeting, showing a cost of $39,000 to $45,000 for replacing 234 auditorium seats with upholstered chairs and another $12,400 for stage curtains and the hardware to hang them, making a total cost of $53,000 to $59,000, or "for the price of a tricked-out SUV," as Bradburn put it.
Bradburn said if the board could get some seed money, money might be forthcoming from other sources, such as the Fine Arts Patrons, Excel Estherville and the Emmet County Community Foundation. When board member Nancy Anderson asked Bradburn whether he had spoken with Excel, he responded, "They're just looking for some seed money," adding that the auditorium had not been touched for 55 years. "It's not even safe," said Bradburn. "It's a mess."
High-school principal Frank Christenson said the front stage curtains had been removed and disposed of three years ago.
"What would you consider seed money?" asked board member Mike Karels. Bradburn said a commitment from the district could help leverage other money from the Patrons, Excel and the community foundation.
Paul said she would like to discuss other projects that would not get done if the Little Theatre renovation should be done, adding that physical plant and equipment levy dollars would likely be used. Paul also said the board would need at least one other bid to make a decision.