Inside the newly renovated St. Cecilia Music Center

St. Cecilia Music Center
Newly padded seats fill the Royce Auditorium at St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids. (Oct. 28, 2016)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — After months of work and $2.4 million, upgrades to a historic Grand Rapids building are complete.

Friday, executive director Cathy Holbrook took 24 Hour News 8 inside the newly renovated St. Cecilia Music Center, located at 24 Ransom NE.

“The feel of the place is still historic and traditional but just a little refreshed,” said Holbrook.

One of the first changes visitors will likely notice immediately are the new seats.

“People did actually complain about the old seats. They were spring-based seats,” said Holbrook.

The 600 new seats filling Royce Auditorium are padded with foam.

In the Presidents Room, visitors are greeted by freshly painted walls and refinished floors, creating a deeper sense of elegance inside the main recital hall. Just outside the room sits the remodeled lobby and box office.

In the Idema Room, new paint and fresh carpet cover every room surface, sans the original wood paneling.

Holbrook said water damage to the second floor ballroom sparked many of the changes to the building, which was built in 1894.

“The catalyst was probably that we needed a new roof and that’s something that you can’t ignore after a while,” Holbrook said.

In June, ArtPrize organizers announced the music hub would not be participating in ArtPrize Eight while its building was renovated.

The public will get its first chance to check out the major upgrades in person on Nov. 20, when St. Cecilia Music Center hosts its first concert of the season.


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