"Amid the pines,
She proudly stands"

History of the Renovation of
Reynolds Auditorium
The "Friends of Richard J. Reynolds Memorial Auditorium" organization has been working for many years with friends and alumni of the Richard J. Reynolds Auditorium to raise public and private funds for the auditorium’s renovation. We are close to achieving our goal, but need YOUR help!

In January 2002, the Forsyth County Commissioners voted to guarantee the last $1 million for the renovation project on the condition that the Board of Trustees of the Friends of Reynolds Auditorium continue its efforts to raise the entire $6.2 million. With the renovation project complete, and the Auditorium now open, it is imperative that we complete the fundraising soon. There's only $600,000 left to go.

Currently, we have gifts, pledges and public commitments of over $5.4 million, including $2.2 million from the school system and $3.2 million from individuals, foundations, corporations and accumulated interest.

The following improvements have been made to the Auditorium:
• replace building's wood windows and repair the stone floor at the entrance portico
• repair and recover existing seats
• replace carpet
• install new rigging, theatrical equipment, and stage curtain
• provide new dressing rooms
• provide new restrooms (handicapped accessible)
• provide access to additional storage space
• renovate all interior finishes
• upgrade electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems including heating, ventilation and air conditioning .

From an economic development standpoint, there is a growing demand in our community for an auditorium with the seating capacity of Reynolds Auditorium (approximately 1,900 seats) to complement the Stevens Center (1375 seats) in hosting and presenting cultural and entertainment events. As you may know, the Stevens Center is owned and operated by the North Carolina School of the Arts. Steve Davis, manager of the Stevens Center, sees the Auditorium not as competition but as "an additional performing arts resource for our community."

Collaborative discussions on future needs of the auditorium included Davis regarding management and booking of events at the Auditorium; Dr. Reggie Teague of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System on restoration and maintenance management; Stan Elrod, principal of R.J. Reynolds High School on scheduling; and Tan Ersoy, project architect who is overseeing the renovation.

Please join us in thanking these foundation and corporate sponsors in making this investment in the community’s cultural and economic life a reality:
* the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
* the Richard J. Reynolds III and Marie M. Reynolds Foundation
* the John and Anna Hanes Foundation
* Wachovia Bank
* BB&T
* R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
* the Winston-Salem Foundation
.....and others.

On the Monday following the re-opening of Reynolds Auditorium (in September, 2002), Nick Bragg (who "oversaw" the renovation project, and who was at that time President of "Friends of Reynolds Auditorium") sat and talked with Harry Corpening (who is the present President of "Friends of Reynolds Auditorium" - RJR class of 1968) about this project, the history of the Auditorium, and its future.

Nick Bragg is the former director of Reynolda House, and was President of the "Friends of Reynolds Auditorium" during the renovation project. His daily involvement ensured the historical integrity and beauty of the renovation of this historic landmark.

Click here ( * ) to hear this entertaining conversation.
(This taped conversation lasted about 20 minutes, and covered not only topics concerning the overall goals and accomplishments of the renovation....but also the specifics (such as are these the actual seats that students and patrons have sat (....or slept) in over the years)? It also covered topics that only past students would know about.)
Click here ( * ) to return to the Auditorium homepage.

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