By LISA WHALEY
The opening of a new Jackson Theatre for downtown Jonesborough showed signs of picking up steam last week when new construction projects resulted in detoured traffic for part of Main Street.
“They have the roof completely off of the Jackson,” Town Operations Manager Craig Ford said Thursday. “They were working on getting those big bridge trusses out and setting the metal across the front wall at the same time.”
The large crane on Main Street, necessary to complete the task, was the reason for the detoured traffic.
This theatre project in Jonesborough, a longtime dream of town officials and residents alike, includes the restoration and renovation of the Jackson Theatre on Main Street, as well as its expansion to include the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre and Stage Door – all to create a brand-new, state-of-the-art, Jonesborough theater complex expected to transform downtown.
And while things may not be moving at lightning speed at this stage, Town Administrator Bob Browning remains excited about the plans.
“We have a contract with GRC contracting out of Kingsport, and we’re feeling very fortunate to have them,” said Browning. The town itself is acting as the project’s main contractor, with GRC overseeing much of the structural repairs.
“GRC are a great contractor and they communicate with us really well,” Browning added. “They have been very sensitive about having to go in and put a new structural system against the walls and begin to tie that in without knocking the walls down.”
Browning paused and grinned.
“They’re response to getting that first phase in was: ‘It went great. We didn’t knock any walls out.’”
The town is still shooting for a late 2020 opening date for the Jackson Theatre.