SIDNEY — It was as easy as threading a needle. But instead of a piece of thread going into the eye of the needle, it was a steel beam going into the ceiling of the Historic Sidney Theatre.
And all the crane operator had to do was lift a 2,600-pound steel beam and thread it through an opening near the roof of the theatre. It was so easy, Piqua Steel was able to do it twice on Thursday. Each steel beam was 24 inches high and 32 feet long.
“We’re sliding in the structural steel to support the scenery rigging,” said Jay Westerheide, owner of Westerheide Construction, Sidney, which is the general contractor for the theatre renovation.
“A rigging company will now come in and put in the scenery rigging,” he said.
Westerheide said the steel beams are sitting on the existing walls of the theatre. The company has also been working on electrical services in the theatre and bringing the stairwells up to code.
The company was involved with similar work to what it’s at the theatre when it worked on the Shelby County Annex and Shelby County Courthouse.
The theatre went “dark” on Nov. 1 for work on the electrical upgrades and work on the stagehouse.
“This is part of the fly system,” said Sarah Barr, executive director of Raise the Roof for the Arts/The Historic Sidney Theatre. “The steel beams will allow us to bring backdrops in, curtains and lighting.”
In addition to the beams being installed, a new DP&L pad has been in so the electrical system in the theatre could be upgraded.
The original steel rigging, said Barr, was removed in preparation for the new steel beams to be installed.
“The facilities committee will be meeting to work on the next phase of renovation should be done,” said Barr.
The installation of the steel beams is a big step in the renovation of the theatre.
“This defines our future,” said Barr. “What’s being done to the stagehouse is the whole purpose of the renovation so we can become a performing arts center. This opens the door to so many quality performances being brought to Sidney.”
A dedication ceremony of the stagehouse is being planned for June, she said.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822; follow her on Twitter @MelSpeicherSDN. Follow the SDN on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SidneyDailyNews.
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