North County Recreation District, along with the support and dedication of the community, has achieved a major accomplishment. Over the course of six years, work has been underway to renovate the historic auditorium of what was once the local school in Nehalem. The project gained momentum following necessary reinforcement of the gym floor above.
Having been unused for some time, members of the community theatre group Riverbend Players took the initiative to clean up the space. Within a short time, Riverbend Players performed on the stage for the first time. Other events soon followed.
Gradually the auditorium has transformed, one phase at a time, as funding has been available. A combination of grants, donations, district funds and a lot of sweat equity have made it a reality. The final phase of renovation was completed early this spring.
The new Performing Arts Center at North County Recreation District features state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems. In addition, guests will find new seats, flooring and other features, with many of the improvements reflecting the historical feel of the place. Several seats feature an engraved placard, having been donated by individuals in honor of loved ones.
Theatre Coordinator Sierra Gjerde has scheduled a variety of entertainment since the re-opening, featuring a broad range of artists and talent. “All artists who have utilized our space have found it accommodating,” said Gjerde. She continued, “The acoustics are absolutely wonderful, with a great balance of feeling grand as well as intimate. We are looking forward to more community involvement.” With Gjerde departing soon, the district is working to hire a new Theatre Coordinator to continue building the presence of the Performing Arts Center in the region.
To celebrate the completion of this project, the community is invited to a special Dedication scheduled Friday, August 5 at 7:00 pm. Local and state leaders will be present as we recognize individuals and organizations involved in the transformation. “Please plan to join us for an evening filled with entertainment, food and gratitude,” said interim General Manager Barbara McCann, “as we honor the past and embrace the future in our beautiful new space.”
To learn more about scheduled events or to rent the space for your event, call 503.368.7008.