- Associated Press - Sunday, February 28, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Gov. Gina Raimondo is helping to kick off the upcoming restoration of Newport’s nearly 150-year-old opera house.

The Democrat is the keynote speaker at Monday’s event celebrating the restoration of the Newport Opera House Theater and Performing Arts Center.

A spokesman for the group behind the restoration says it will cost at least $14 million to restore the building overlooking the city’s Washington Square. It’s set to become a year-round performing arts center with a rooftop garden terrace.

A $4.2 million state grant from a 2014 voter-backed bond measure will help pay for the mostly privately funded project.

The opera house, built in 1867, was used as a cinema for much of the 20th century before closing in 2010.

Construction begins this spring. The re-opening is set for late 2017.

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