Memorial Hall in 'good shape'


WILMINGTON -- Memorial Hall Board Chairman Alan Greenspan says the building is in good shape.

"It's clean. The basement dressing room is fine. It's perfectly clean and usable. The lighting is fine," he said.

The main priority at Memorial Hall is installing a permanent heating and cooling system. It will be necessary for the summer as events were booked by the board.

"It's number one over there," said Wilmington Town Manager Scott Murphy.

Greenspan told the Reformer that although the furnace was delivered last year, the ground was frozen throughout the winter so it has not been properly installed yet. But the heating does work and there are efforts to install air ducts for the system.

The board is also looking into applying for a grant that would enable it to purchase insulated windows to replace the current ones.

"We had to cancel all of our events from last October right on through because we didn't know when the building would be ready," added Greenspan. "We had a hard time trying to get people lined up for performances."

The Bright Lights Craft Fair was canceled because of unresolved issues regarding plans for a deck that would have safely stored heating ventilation and air condition or HVAC equipment in a 10-foot wide, 30-foot long and 12-foot high space behind the building.

The original plan came under scrutiny from two abutters. A lawsuit eventually was dismissed by the Environmental Court on Nov. 18.

Currently, the town is waiting to receive a new design from LineSync Architecture that will be reviewed. The group had designed the first plan for a deck that would provide shelter for the equipment behind the building.

Now, the architects are back to the drawing table. One of the abutters had taken issue with the aesthetics of the previously proposed deck.

"We're working on some things right now and we hope to move forward with this project in the next month," said Murphy.

Most recently, heating at Memorial Hall was utilized during an event held on March 15. It was turned on a day before Irish step dancers from Burlington performed for just over 120 people. The presentation required that a marley floor be put down by volunteers. It is specifically used for tap and various other types of dancing.

The next event scheduled for Memorial Hall is a fireworks show on May 9 with a one-man performance by comedian Seth Lepore. He will play his mother and father as well as himself.

The "Eye of the Storm" will follow it on another date. It is a puppet show by for mature audiences.

Brattleboro circus act and theater show group Nimble Arts will be performing at the venue in September.

Students from the local Wings Community Program will be performing there in between other shows. The group has rented the hall and its productions are not associated with the Memorial Hall Board.

Currently, Greenspan is hoping to book bluegrass musicians for an upcoming concert. He said he was trying to get additional acts booked as well.

"It takes time. I got to be able to fit them in with schedules and other people who are renting it for things like weddings," he concluded.

Beginning at the start of the next fiscal year, July 1, Greenspan will be able to utilize the $6,000 approved at Town Meeting. Previously, he had a line item in the town budget of $1,500 for marketing and events until a motion was made to increase that funding.

Greenspan said the board hopes to bring in some attractive entertainment with the additional funding.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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