Design Group Joins Robinson Grand Renovation and Restoration

CLARKSBURG W.Va. – The Robinson Grand Theatre project, one of the linchpin projects for members of City Council, is inching forward.

Two days after incumbent council members Cathy Goings and Gary Bowden were re-elected and joined by newcomer Chad E. Sigmon, they were able to hear an update on the all-important project.

Vice Mayor Gary Bowden referred to the big projects this City Council has undertaken as one of the reasons he felt that he was re-elected on Tuesday.

Now the project is inching forward according to City Manager Martin Howe. Larson Design Group has come on board to the project. Howe said that they’re going to preserve the original feel of the theatre by keeping the “art deco” theme.

Art Deco is described as an elegant style of decorative art, design and architecture. It is characterized by the use of angular, symmetrical geometric forms.

“We do want to keep the art deco look of that era,” said Howe. “We’re working on an additional blade sign that was already on there with the new marquee updated to today’s standards.”

Howe said there are two important phases to the project that include the interior and the exterior.

“We’re doing a restoration and also a renovation,” he said. “The restoration is going to be on the exterior, and the renovation is going to be on the interior of the building.”

And while Howe said he’s really happy with the pace that the design team is moving at, he still anticipates a long road ahead before the Robinson Grand Theatre is ready to be reopened in Clarksburg.

“We’re still a little ways out,” he said. “The construction documents and the final design won’t be completed for another four or five months.”

And after that point, there will still be the bidding process and construction. Currently, the construction is slated to take about 16 months from start to finish. If you’re keeping score at home, that means the overall time frame for the re-opening is still being counted in years. But Howe said he can already picture it.

“It’ll be a grand, grand opening at the Robinson Grand,” he said.

The city is also in contact with the state Historical Preservation Office to ensure that they remain on the same page in maintaining the historical integrity of the building while also bringing it up to code.