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The Lamp is the #1 story of the year!

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The good news? The Lamp was the number one story of the year for 2012! The bad news? Read on:

1. Lamp Theatre plans stall

The Westmoreland Cultural Trust‘s work at the 71-year-old Lamp Theatre in Irwin came to a standstill after bids to rehabilitate the building came in too high in July.

Westmoreland Cultural Trust officials received bids from just two contractors to rehabilitate the theater, which came in higher than expected, according to Michael Langer, trust president.

Langer declined to reveal the cost or firms involved.

Officials estimated it would cost about $650,000 to get the theater running again, a cost that would be split between the state, county and Irwin Borough.

According to the estimate, the county and state each would contribute about $250,000 to the project to repair the structure, while the borough could contribute about $150,000 for interior work. The Trust‘s plans included 381 seats and an expanded entryway to make the building accessible to those with disabilities and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Langer said.

The bid documents included plans to demolish portions of the restrooms to make way for new fixtures and partitioned, floor-mounted toilets, wall-mounted urinals and new sinks, and new cold and hot water piping.

Plans also included refinishing the floors and walls, installing new ceilings, light fixtures, doors and windows, and a new electrical system.

The final part of the project included reinforcing the stage and installing sound and lighting systems, curtains, backdrops, seats and safety devices, such as fire and smoke detectors, Langer said.

The Westmoreland Cultural Trust would own the theater and plans to run and manage the Lamp if it reopens, and it would feature between 80 and 90 performances per year.

Since the bids came in, Langer declined to discuss the project further with the Norwin Star. He said there has been no concrete decision made on the organization‘s next steps with the Lamp.

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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About Kathleen

Kathleen Heuer is a serial arts advocate and volunteer. She is the mom of two beautiful girls, wife to a brilliant nuclear engineer, and referee between her golden retriever and her hissy 18-year-old cat. For more, go to http://about.me/kathleendheuer.

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