Augusta, GA (WJBF) – The Augusta Historic Preservation Commission approved plans on Thursday night to renovate the historic Miller Theater building.
People in the community are looking at the revitalization of Miller Theater as the beginning of a much bigger plan to revitalize downtown Augusta.
The Miller recently celebrated its 76th birthday by offering a sneak peek at its future: Home of Symphony Orchestra Augusta.
In February, the fundraising campaign needed just over $4 million dollars to reach its 21.1 million dollar goal, now they’re in the home stretch.
An excited board of commissioners wasted no time in approving the plans to revive Broad Street’s Miller Theater.
“I think the miller theater is a very important part of Augusta’s history and it’s really necessary that it’s preserved,” commissioner, Russell Moores said.
Plans not only include revamping Miller Theater, but will also extend to the old department store next door. That building will serve as a support space for staff, students and different programs.
Off Ellis Street an old alley way will be built into an area for performers to get ready.
Local architect Robert Mauldin says this is the beginning of something wonderful for the Downtown area.
“Having that as an anchor facility again on broad street is part of what the Imperial Theatre the Miller Theatre, and all of these public spaces, restaurants, and all these other areas are hoping for and you know, needed to really be the foundation for revitalizing the community in general,” Mauldin said.
Executive Director of Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Anne Catherine Murray, says the community’s support shows they are ready for the change.
“The Miller Theater is on the 700 block of Broad Street and there are some great things happening there, but there are also still pockets of disinvestment on that block. So having this very important historic feature come back to life will not only provide a wonderful place for arts and entertainment for the community, but it will spawn new businesses and create jobs,” Murray said.
Construction on the project is on schedule to start next month and the hope is to have Miller Theater open in the fall of 2017.