Pekin lands grant for auditorium renovations
The city of Pekin, N.D., has been awarded a federal grant of $106,400 to renovate the Pekin City Auditorium. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Program grant was announced Thursday by North Dakota's congressional delegation, Sen...
The city of Pekin, N.D., has been awarded a federal grant of $106,400 to renovate the Pekin City Auditorium.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Program grant was announced Thursday by North Dakota's congressional delegation, Sen. Kent Conrad, Sen. Byron Dorgan and Rep. Earl Pomeroy, all Democrats.
The funds will be used to fund installation of a heating, new lighting and an addition to house restrooms.
Pekin has about 80 residents.
"Community and countywide events are an important part of small-town North Dakota life," the delegation said in a joint statement. "A renovated Pekin auditorium will ensure that the residents of Pekin and Nelson County have a safe, clean and updated facility to gather with family, friends and neighbors."
The money will help the Nelson County Arts Council, which leases the building from the city, complete Phase 3 of a four-year building renovation project, according to Brenda Bjorlie, Arts Council executive director and the city's community development director.
"Once it's finished, we'll be able to use it year-round," Bjorlie said. We hope to have performing arts in the winter months. And we'll be able to use it for other city events, such as dances."
In the past, it has used what Bjorlie calls a large turkey barn heater to provide heat for events held in the spring and fall.
The Arts Council has hosted the annual Pekin Days Arts Show the last weekend in June for the past 15 years. It also conducts arts and horticultural workshops and conferences. The renovation project will allow those programs to expand.
The Pekin project began in 2003, with a new roof constructed in 2004. The project also had included foundation repairs, new siding, as well as new windows and doors.
The organization currently is attempting to raise $35,000 in local matching funds for the Rural Development loan.
Bjorlie hopes the final phase of the project will be completed by June 2008, in time for annual Arts Show. If the timetable does not allow, then construction may be delayed until after the show.