$2.15M Awarded to Preservation Projects –

Posted December 03, 2014, Jackson, MS  —  “At a special meeting on December 3, the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History awarded more than $2 million on behalf of the Community Heritage Preservation Grant program to seventeen preservation and restoration projects across the state. The Community Heritage Preservation Grant program, authorized and funded through the Mississippi Legislature, helps preserve and restore historic courthouses and schools and, in Certified Local Government communities, other historic properties. Over the life of the program the department has awarded more than $32 million to 203 projects.”


imageThe Meridian Temple Theatre for the Performing Arts was awarded $38,240 and is the only entity in Lauderdale County to receive grant money from MDAH. Roger Smith, Executive Director of the Temple stated, “We are extremely proud to have been awarded this grant which will enable us to complete Phase I of a five-phase restoration, repair and renovation project estimated to cost $212,000.”

Phase I will complete work that is considered to be most critical in stabilizing the 90+year old building, including roof repairs and termite prevention. The largest portion of the grant money will be used to replace exterior entrance/exit doors consisting of seven sets of double doors, and two single doors. This is essential to improve building security and especially to ensure quick exit in the event of an emergency. Doors will be replaced in accordance with period-style architecture using modern materials.

Smith went on to explain that Phases II through V include extensive interior work such as replacement of the Ballroom parquet floor, air conditioning repair and replacement, restoration and repair of the two organ pipe chambers, restroom repairs and upgrades, and marquee maintenance, rewiring and an upgrade to a computer digital display.

The Temple Theatre is a non-profit, 501(c)3 charity organization with no paid (salaried) employees. Office and management personnel are volunteers. All income is channeled back into the theatre for operating expenses and upkeep as there is no other source of financial backing except through income generated from the rental of the Ballroom and theatre auditorium by outside producers, ticket and concession stand sales. Private monetary donations, equipment, or supplies are completely tax deductible.

In conclusion, Smith was quick to state that his goal remains the same as when he first took on the Temple Theatre in 2009. That is, to provide “a place where everybody can feel welcome, no matter who you are…a place where artists of all genres, be it musicians, stage performers, dancers, or movie aficionados’ can perform without feeling stressed or intimidated…a place without barriers.” It is truly a Theatre for all people of Meridian and Lauderdale County.  See you at the Temple!