$30 million renovation project breaks ground at the Morris Performing Arts Center

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 7:00 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Wednesday marked the start of $30-million worth of planned renovations at South Bend’s Morris Performing Arts Center.

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for phase one of the project, which carries a price tag of $9 million.

“Well, this is phase one of the renovation. All the mechanicals are being redone, all the lighting systems, new floor, new roof, new plumbing, new HVAC,” said Aaron Perri, South Bend’s Director of Venues, Parks, and Arts.

Phase one is being financed through an energy savings contract, and an increase in the county innkeeper’s tax.

About a thousand seats have already been removed from the main floor at the Morris. Another 1,600 will be removed from the balcony. Efforts will be made to repurpose some of the seats and provide them to community groups and project donors, although saved seats are likely go be few and far between.

“In fact, they share an arm rest, so you can’t just pull one out and give it away to somebody. They’re designed to be installed in a theater,” Perri said.

The last show at the Morris was on June 30th.

The Morris will next host a grand reopening event on October 1.

Officials have yet to disclose the headliner but say a Ferris Wheel will be part of the outdoor festivities.

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