MARIETTA - The Colony Theatre was one of 15 projects approved by the Ohio Department of Development to receive a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's State Energy Program.
The Colony's share of $959,312 of the $8.3 million total will be used for a geothermal heating and cooling system, replace doors and windows, and convert to LED-based lighting. These upgrades will save more than 66 percent of the theater's energy usage, about $64,000 per year.
A geothermal system fed by wells to the aquifer was originally installed in 1919 when the Colony opened for business, said Hunt Brawley, development director for the Hippodrome-Colony Historical Theatre Association. Cool water pumped from the aquifer 70 feet below flowed over two large coils on the roof to provide the cooling for the theater, he said.
The well pump and piping removed from the well at the Colony Theatre.
"It was the only air conditioned building in Marietta," Brawley said.
The original wells will be incorporated into the new system, he said. They've been examined and are fit for use today as they were when the building opened 90 years ago, Brawley said.
The difference today is technology has advanced to where the water can also be used as a heat source, Brawley said. It can be installed without any impact on the historic appearance of the theater, such as from installing roof top units, he said.
- ?Who: Colony Theatre
- ?What: Ohio Department of Development grant of $959,312
- ?Where: Marietta
- ?When: 2010
- ?Why: To save more than 66 percent of the theater's energy usage, about $64,000 per year
- ?How: With a water-sourced geothermal heating and cooling system, replacement of doors and windows and conversion to LED-based lighting
"That was the essence of our application," Brawley said.
A celebration of the grant will be held 7 p.m. Tuesday during the annual meeting in the lower level of the Unitarian Universalist Church, Third and Putnam streets.
Construction should be complete within a year, he said.
Total renovation will cost about $6 million.
The program is part of $96 million in stimulus funds allocated to the energy program to accelerate Ohio's investment in advanced energy industries.
"Advanced energy is fueling Ohio's future, and the Making Efficiency Work program will accelerate the State of Ohio's position as a leader in advanced energy, renewable energy, and energy efficient technologies," said Lisa Patt-McDaniel, director of the Department of Development.
The Colony was selected in a competitive review with the criteria including a 50 percent match of total costs, guaranteed project completion within 12 months and having a direct economic impact by creating and retaining jobs.
"These funds will provide further support to ensure the renovations to this historic theatre are completed in the most efficient and effective manner," Rep. Jennifer Garrison, D-Washington, said.