The plans for Memorial Hall are moving ahead. At a well-attended meeting under a tent pitched on the lawn next to the large brick building that has become a landmark of emptiness, Jack Banning reported on the progress his group is making on turning the edifice into a regional performance center for the arts. A laundromat, a voiced need for the community, is already operating in the rear of the building.
Banning and Brian Keeler, the executive director of the project, unveiled a model as designed by Doug Larsen, a New York architect with an office in Pine Plains who is contributing his services. When they lifted the roof, the interior of the hall was revealed. The interior space is designed for flexibility so both small and large audiences can be accommodated. Banning said they will be able to host rock stars and string quartets.
Banning announced that through the efforts of Assemblywoman Didi Barrett a grant of $125,000 was awarded by the state. A citation honoring the group that is undertaking this project was read by one of her staff.
Banning reported that they are nearing their first target of $2 million. They have pledges and grants of $1,912, 265. When they reach the $2 million mark, they will get $300,000 from the Tribute Gardens. The overall goal is $5 million.