The spot lights shifted to center stage on Friday as Jeff Mirkes, President of the Meyer Theatre board, grabbed the hearts of a packed lobby crowd on Valentines’ Day to announce a $4.5 million addition to Green Bay’s Meyer Theatre. The announcement, occurring on the theatres 84th birthday, was complete with renderings showing how the addition ties into the theatre space.
Referring to the corner of Washington and Walnut Streets, Mirkes said: “We own a corner that is prime real estate in downtown Green Bay and this project will ensure the health and future of the Meyer Theatre.” The addition takes the corner property and provides a grand entrance complete with catering space and ties it into the theatre’s main hall. It will include a smaller indoor performance space seating up to 200 for smaller and more local events. The corner addition becomes a showpiece for the downtown and will be named Backstage at the Meyer. It is adjacent to a parking ramp providing direct parking access for theatre patrons, a feature not presently available.
Ken Wachter, the President of PMI Entertainment, Inc. which operates the Meyer Theatre welcomed the addition and said the addition “makes sure we are viable another 84 years.” Wachter said the theatre has between 170 to 200 active days a year and this addition will add to the number of usable days. “Our goal is to have high quality and diverse shows and this will make going to the theatre a better experience.”
Mayor Jim Schmitt also spoke at the announcement saying it has been a long-time goal to improve the corner property which has become an eyesore in the downtown. “I can tell you, the mayor never approved of that corner”, he said. And referring to previous attempts at developing the corner, “This is the right project at the right time.”
Smet Construction Services was announced as the projects construction manager. Smet’s Lisa Grassman worked over a year on the project’s planning with the theatres volunteer board including working many Saturdays. Grassman said: “I was overwhelmed when they revealed the renderings. We went through several designs and kept pushing until we ended up with the perfect design.” Lisa talked about her passion for the project saying:” Because of the hard work our Smet team and the entire board put into this project, this one is near and dear to my heart!”
If you have a project that needs a little passion to help bring it into fruition, call Smet Construction Services. We are all a little like Lisa in that we put our hearts into our work!
Greg Polacheck, Director of Market Development