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1Photo submitted Minot State University Summer Theater Revitalization Project is progressing as is fundraising.

The Minot State University Summer Theater revitalization project has given way to Mother Nature for the 2021 construction season, but phase two of the project has progressed steadily at both the iconic site of the ‘amphitheater at the north end of the campus as well as in its vital fundraising project.

“We were happy to have hot weather so late in the year which allowed construction to continue” said Chad Gifford, artistic director of MSU Summer Theater. “Right now the huge retaining walls that have been built on both sides of the theater really show just how much bigger our whole complex will be once that is done. When construction started there was a lot of building demolition and digging in the hills, so seeing those cement walls really shows us what it’s going to look like next year.

As the construction part of the project progresses, the fundraising progresses as well. MSU Vice President for Advancement / MSU Development Foundation Executive Director Rick Hedberg estimates that 85% of the $ 2.5 million project has been raised, but notes that he there is still work to be done.

“We are so close to completing our fundraising for this much needed renovation,” Hedberg said. “We have a chance to make significant improvements to the facility. If we can meet our fundraising goal, this will be one of the premier outdoor amphitheatres in the upper Midwest. I’m sure people will love the upgrades.

The first phase of the project, started in October 2020 and completed before the start of the 56th season of Summer Theater last summer, focused on accessibility, including the integration of disabled seating in each section, the increase space for aisles and handrails and replacement of the upper deck.

Phase two began immediately after the summer season and is expected to end in June 2022, in time for a full 57th season. Phase two includes a complete renovation of the existing complex, including bathrooms, ticket office, locker rooms and offices, as well as a new plaza, drive-thru and lower-level concessions.

“It’s amazing to see all these changes happening” said Gifford. “Prior to this project, our changes to the Summer Theater were mostly minor. Building entirely new structures is amazing to see and it’s something we all really can’t wait to see come true.

“It’s great to see how much the community has supported us for this project. The realization of this project really shows how much summer theater is appreciated in Minot ”, he added.

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