Foulke Construction will resume renovating the Dawn Theater once the weather starts to break, according to Hillsdale Zoning Administrator Alan Beeker.
“Foulke will not actually start full blown construction until the weather starts to clear because the grant process took longer than expected,” Beeker said. “They’re finishing up some projects they had ahead of us.”
Beeker noted that although the building went through the hazardous material abatement process, much of the necessary interior and exterior work still remains.
“It needs a full re-roof and there is some roof structure that needs to be repaired prior to completing it, and no one wanted to do that during the winter,” Beeker said.
City of Hillsdale Tax Increment Finance Authority board member Mary Wolfram added that TIFA owns the Dawn Theater, but Keefer House LLC, a subsidiary of C.L. Real Estate, will manage the space.
Wolfram said Keefer House LLC has also stated an intent to purchase the building next to the Dawn Theater, formerly occupied by Smith’s Flower Shop.
At a Hillsdale City Council meeting on Monday, Hillsdale College Professor of Political Economy Gary Wolfram shared his excitement regarding the renovation, as he has his own memories of his children visiting the Dawn Theater.
“I look forward to sending my grandkids to see things at the Dawn,” he said.
Mary Wolfram said the space will function with dual purposes, serving as both a community theater and private event space once fully renovated. In addition to bringing in small musical acts and performances, she said, the city hopes to host a film series, showing classic and children’s films.
“It’s not a big theater. It’s not going to be something where we will bring in a big group of performers,” Mary Wolfram said. “Keefer House LLC will have that space available to them to hold events such as business parties, wedding receptions, Christmas parties for businesses, family reunions, and anything that people have to rent a hall for.”