State gives Stanley $2.23M boost

Angelica A. Morrison

The $2.23 million that the state is giving to the Stanley Theatre restoration will give the project a boost toward completion, said Ronald Thiele, executive director for the Central New York Arts Council. 

The money will be used for renovations and for the Stanley’s endowment fund, Thiele said Tuesday after Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced the funding in a morning news conference at the theater. 

“It was part of the last 5 percent or so of the funds we needed to raise,” Thiele said.

Thiele said between $11 million and $12 million has been spent on construction costs for the project. The project will be complete by March 31. 

Thiele said the construction is nearing completion. Areas that are nearing completion include painting, installing doors and elevators in the southern addition; also the stage is in the process of insulation, drywall, painting and electrical. 

“There’s a lot going on here,” he said. “Things are going along at breakneck speed.” 

Grants for upstate 

The Stanley is one of 64 projects throughout the state receiving $100 million in Restore New York grants. A total of $74 million was allocated to upstate communities to restore or demolish old buildings. 

“Rebuilding the Stanley Theatre is important to revitalizing the Utica community and spurring economic growth downtown,” Spitzer said. “Grants like these demonstrate our commitment to making communities across the state more livable and New York the best place to live, work, raise a family and run a business.” 

Spitzer also announced Rome will receive $2.5 million for the Rome Cable Remediation and Revitalization Project. This project will make 50 acres of mixed commercial and retail facilities in downtown Rome available by demolishing the vacant, 240,000-square foot Rome Cable Building. 

Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito, D-Rome, County Executive Anthony J. Picente and Donna Donovan, president of the Central New York Arts Council, were among the local and state leaders who attended the event. 

“I think that this landmark has been a great anchor for the arts in Central New York for so many years,” said Picente. “The completion of this project will add to the cultural value of the community.” 

U.S. Rep. Michael. A. Arcuri, D-Utica, agreed. 

“The Stanley Theater is a historic economic anchor, not just for downtown Utica, but for our entire region,” he said in a statement. “Renovations and improvements to the world-class cultural sites throughout our area will create more tourism and business opportunities in downtowns throughout the Mohawk Valley.”