Macon City Auditorium needs $15 million in repairs
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Macon City Auditorium needs millions in repairs.
Clay Murphey, Macon-Bibb’s County SPLOST Coordinator, said the county has already started fixing the building in the basement area because water was seeping in from the outside. He adds that’s just one part of the auditorium that needs to be repaired.
“The auditorium was built for the city’s 100th birthday. We’d like to celebrate the city’s 200th and the auditorium’s 100th birthday with a newly restored facility,” explained Murphey.
The Macon City Auditorium has aged gracefully, but her wrinkles are starting to show a little more.
“We’ve got a curtain running up on 40 years old that’s dry rotted in places. The valances on the curtains in the balcony level need to be repaired. Our seating is from the 1960’s,” said Murphey.
Those are problems everyday visitors can see. Murphey gave 41NBC a behind the scenes tour on and inside the dome roof. A careful climb up a small ladder gives you a look at the problems the copper dome on top of the auditorium is facing.
“It looks like the water is seeping between the seems on the copper roof and getting underneath the rubber roof and then that water leeches into the auditorium itself,” explained Murphey as he jumped on the roof showing the water flow underneath.
Back down the ladder and through a tiny catwalk you’ll find outdated electronics.
“We want to put in LED lighting. We want to put in a digital sound board. You want to make this venue exciting and attractive for musical acts to come here,” said Murphey.
Murphey estimates the repairs to cost about $15 million. He hopes to get the money through the 2018 SPLOST. He said historic grants could provide some of the money as well.
“We’re promoting our musical heritage more and more. We’ve got the reopening of the Capricorn Lofts down on Broad Street soon. This is a great music venue and we need to do something with it,” explained Murphey.
Macon-Bibb has some SPLOST dollars left over to use on the auditorium. If commissioners approve moving $150,000 in SPLOST funds toward the project, that will give the county about half a million dollars to continue the small renovations. Commissioners will vote at their meeting next week.