Scaffolding in front of the Pex theater came down around noon Monday after contractors completed stucco work on the facade.
Although the scaffolds stood for several weeks, the stucco portion was completed on schedule with no delays aside from weather. The next order of business will be tile at the bottom of the building.
“We’re trying to do the outside so we can eliminate an eyesore and have something attractive downtown that all the business owners there will be proud to be next to and around,” said Downtown Development Authority chairwoman Teresa Doster.
However, this is only the beginning.
The DDA is using its own reserves to fund the outside renovations, but as the project moves forward, they intend to look for additional funding because the inside of the building will cost significantly more than the outside.
Currently, the DDA is looking at six potential grants for the building’s inside. They have not received any funding yet, and are deciding which grants are most appropriate for the project.
“We’ll turn over every rock we can,” Doster said. “The less money that we have to raise, the better.”
As far as current funds go, the City of Eatonton allocated $50,000 for the DDA in its FY2022 budget, which is a significant increase from the $11,050 the DDA received in FY2021.
Those funds were not allocated by the city specifically for the Pex and can be used for any DDA expenses, but “from the DDA’s perspective, [the facade] is what we’ll use the additional funding for,” Doster said.
“We’re pleased to see what’s happening,” Doster said. “Like I said, we felt strongly that this is something we want to go ahead and get done, and we wanted it to be done by the end of the year.”
Doster shared that the DDA had lovely visions of the facade, which includes the marquis, complete by Christmas when Downtown Eatonton is decorated with Christmas lights. But the signage may take longer to complete due to supply chains, she said.
“So it may not be done by year end,” Doster said. “I would be shocked if it was. But it’s good to see progress.”