by Derek Lacey / Staff Writer
The Bain auditorium is still slated for demolition, but Mint Hill residents are working to get it removed from the list.
A meeting was held February 19, which saw 70 to 80 people, and a bank account was set up for donations at American Community Bank.
The auditorium has been declared of historical significance, and very early estimates of the cost to refurbish the property are at around $1.5 million.
The Mint Hill Historical Society has commissioned a committee to save Bain auditorium, led by town commissioner Tina Ross.
Ross has spoken to Guy Chamberlain, associate superintendent for auxiliary services at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, as well as the John LeGrande, principal at Bain Elementary, and says the results are positive.
“They have been very supportive, the principal at Bain has been very supportive, they’re waiting on further information from us and from the town,” said Ross.
Ross and committee are working on completing a feasibility study for the property, which should be completed within the next couple months
“We’ve done a lot of investigating,” Ross said. “We’ve had different contractors look at the building–a civil engineer has been to look at it. Actually, the results have been very positive, so we’re pleased.”
Ross said that they are currently in contact with a potential benefactor, the name of which is being kept anonymous for the time being.
After the feasibility study is finished, the committee will have a better idea of what they need and what they need to do next.
Many people in the community have shown interest, said Ross, and that moving forward, they will begin to look at grants that they may be eligible for to supplement the money needed to refurbish the building.
Ross said that through her contact with CMS, there seems to be no “drop dead date” for acquiring the funding to refurbish the building.
Ross thinks the building could serve the community well as a performing arts center, because the auditorium features a 28-foot stage, but the 6,500 square-foot building has potential for many community uses.
It hasn’t housed students for two years, since it was determined that the structural integrity had been compromised and it was no longer safe. To make a tax-deductible donation to the effort to restore the Bain Auditorium, checks and monetary contributions should be addressed to MHHS Bain Restoration, American Community Bank, P.O. Box 691193, Charlotte, NC 28227.