“We just didn’t anticipate the scope of what we found,” Fowler said. “But the building is still open.”
Much of the more serious work needed will keep the balcony closed indefinitely, Fowler said. That takes away about 100 seats that could be filled for shows.
David Nelson of the Greater Derry Arts Council said having the upper space closed will affect the life of the Opera House.
“The impact on some shows is substantial,” he said, “specifically the shows that sell out or nearly fill the house.”
Nelson said losing 100 potential ticket sales hurts.
“For some shows, that means turning away any potential purchasers or adding an additional performance to make up for the shortfall,” he said.
The projects may cost upward of $125,000. Fowler said he would bring the request before Town Council as part of the budget process for fiscal year 2015. Work could begin once the new fiscal year starts.