- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Renovations spurred by the need to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act will close a Louisiana venue for a year.

The RiverView Theater and Hall in Shreveport will be closed from June 2018 to June 2019, as it gets a much-needed update and face-lift, The Times of Shreveport reported Tuesday.

The renovations were spurred by a federal mandate that states the RiverView Theater and Hall must be compliant with ADA, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life.

ADA updates include wheelchair accessible restrooms and counters no higher than 36 inches. Other improvements involve several updates, including new chairs in the theater and Walnut wood wall paneling along with two chandeliers in the lobby.

The renovation budget for the 50-year-old facility that has not had major renovations since it was constructed is $3.2 million, Shreveport Public Assembly & Recreation Department Director Shelly Ragle said. It’ll be funded using the city’s 2011 Bond Issue Project.

Project architect Kevin Bryan said a request for bids will go out to contractors in May. Bryan said a contractor will be selected and construction will begin in June.

The Shreveport Opera, Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, and Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet are also affected and have begun to move events and notify their season subscribers of changes for the 2018-2019 season. It’ll also affect others who seek to book the space for events.

Even with the heads-up, the renovations will put a financial strain on the nonprofits and prompt changes in ticket costs, seating, set design and other logistics.

Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet director Heidi York Gerkin said, “It’s going to be tight. It’s going to be a challenge.” She added, “We just hope the community will support and step forward for all the arts organizations at this time because more than anything we need people to attend our events.”

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Information from: The Times, http://www.shreveporttimes.com


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