3212L3-PILGRIM_HALL-SD (3)We are very happy to say that progress is being made in the rejuvenation of Pilgrim Hall. Following is an update on the project, as it stands at the end of May.

The construction drawings have been completed and are with Willis Smith (the contractor) and the City of Sarasota (for permitting). Willis Smith has invited subcontractors to bid on the project, which will result in a final construction cost. We will have the cost by the end of June, at which time we should also possess the permits from the city.

The Project Design Team (Phil Starr, John DeJongh, Fran Rehl, Ted Rehl, Charles Gehrie, Maryanne Shorin, Harry Hobson, and Becky Pazkowski) has been attending a series of meetings with the architect (Laura Adcock, WBRC Architects) and the interior designer (Marne Kaplan, Marne Kaplan Interior Design, Inc.). A color scheme encompassing fabrics, carpet, wood, curtains, wall coverings, and fixtures has been selected for both inside the hall and the corridor directly outside of the hall that complements the café, dining room, and lobby décor. (Note that the previously viewed wall images for the corridor that were discussed at last June’s resident meeting are not in the final design template). The new design of the entrance includes widening of both doors from the corridor by 18’’ each. New seating is progressing, with two companies still in the bidding process. The seating goal is to improve comfort, maintain capacity, and accommodate wheelchairs and scooters.

The acoustician and audio/video experts have submitted their recommendations, which have been accepted by the Project Design Team. The improvements include upgrades of acoustical materials throughout the hall, surround sound, high capacity voice amplification, high definition video projection, and sound monitoring from the rear of the hall. Also included are capabilities to view Pilgrim Hall performances from the Club Room and Wellness Center.

The Club Room voice microphones, surround sound, and TV monitor have all been upgraded. Previously, only two microphones were available…now, we have 10. Previously, the sound for the video projection and the microphones all came from the same ceiling speakers…now, we have a brand new surround sound system that has dedicated speakers in the ceiling and on the floor in the front and back of the room. This system handles any sound coming from the TV. The new 85’’ 4k television takes the place of the previous video projector and screen. Now all video projection, including cable TV, can be viewed on this screen. This includes anything done from a computer, from cable, or from a DVD. We also upgraded the internet access to hardwire, as opposed to Wi-Fi, which will improve the performance of streamed videos.

We anticipate that the rejuvenation in Pilgrim Hall will commence at the end of June, with a projected six-month schedule. Let’s hope for an end of the year grand opening celebration!