The seating renovations at the Bartlesville Community Center auditorium have been delayed due to labor and supply issues, but the dates and seat availability for upcoming performances will not be affected.
Work on the BCC Auditorium Seating Restoration Project began in July with contractor Cy Young Industries removing the 1,707 seats for new paint, upholstery, armrests and hardware. Initially, the company planned to relocate seats between late September and November as they were completed, which would allow October performances to run with enough seats.
“While (the) plan seemed feasible, it left little room for unforeseen circumstances and unfortunately those unforeseen circumstances did occur,” Emily Taber, City of Bartlesville project engineer, said in a statement.
However, labor shortages and material delays at Cy Young and its subcontractors slowed the progress of the work. The company will therefore keep the seats at its Kansas facility, supplementing them as workers and equipment become available.
City and BCC staff hope the project will be completed by the end of the year. During this time, BCC will rent temporary seats.
“For now, performance and seating will remain unchanged,” Taber said in the statement.
“The City and the BCC appreciate the patrons and donors of the BCC and are working tirelessly to restore the auditorium to its size and full functionality by the end of 2021.”
The project was approved by voters in the sales tax election for capital improvement projects by half a cent in 2013. The renovation contract costs $ 299,706, which is less than the budget of the project, so Bartlesville City Council used the remaining funds to contract Gorman Construction of Bartlesville to upgrade BCC’s ADA-compliant seats in a Sept. 7 vote.
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Gorman Construction will expand the wheelchair accessible deck and add regular seating to it, allowing customers in wheelchairs to sit with friends or family.
The next performance scheduled for the BCC auditorium is an October 6 concert by the Folk Legacy Trio, a group of singers and guitarists who perform songs from the 1950s-1970s. The event is the first in a series of concerts planned by the Bartlesville Community Concert Association, featuring six groups performing between October and May.
The Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra’s 2021-2022 season begins with a performance on October 9 at the BCC by Juilliard-trained violinist Mark Wood and his wife, singer Laura Kaye.
Broadway in Bartlesville! begins its 19th season with a performance on November 29 of “An Officer and a Gentleman”. This will be the first show in the series since its suspension during the pandemic.