“Built in the 1930s, the Ocala City Hall—now renamed the Reilly Arts Center—will soon see a complete interior renovation. The Ocala Symphony Orchestra is funding the makeover, which will cost approximately $2 million,” writes Robyn Smith on Thursday (10/16) at public radio and TV station WUFT (Gainesville, Florida). Pamela Calero, the orchestra’s executive director, said the orchestra’s goal “is really to help connect Tuscawilla Park to our downtown square and just add to the cultural benefits of the community.’ … The symphony has a fundraising goal of $2.6 million…. So far, donors have contributed just over $2 million.… The symphony hopes the project will be completed by September of next year…. If all goes according to plan, about 650 seats will have been added in the downstairs and upstairs areas by then…. The city of Ocala extended the symphony a 30-year lease of the building, with rent at $1 per year. The symphony was expected to be self-sufficient in funding the construction…. The renovation effort is part of the larger ‘Reinvent Tuscawilla Park’ project, according to city manager Matthew Brower. The project is a part of a regional effort to bring people to Ocala to enjoy what the city can offer, including performance arts.” The Ocala Symphony currently performs at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Auditorium.

Posted October 17, 2014