The Bergen Performing Arts Center launched a $15 million capital campaign earlier this year to fund major renovations and restorations at the venue, so far raising $10 million toward that goal.
Bergen County Executive James Tedesco and bergenPAC announced the closing of a $5.6 million sale of revenue bonds May 19. Together with $4 million that has already been raised from private donors, the historic theater is now $5 million from its goal.
According to the announcement, the bonds were issued by the Bergen County Improvement Authority. The county’s contribution was announced when the funding was initiated in March.
bergenPAC is set for updates, including:
- A new LED marquee
- New theater seats, carpeting and stage
- The refurbishment of the theater’s interior ornamental elements
- An enhancement of the its state-of-the-art sound system
- The addition of more mezzanine-level bathrooms
- An expanded lobby and bars
- Redesigned and ADA-compliant box office windows
- Improvements for The Performing Arts School’s dance and recording studios
- Enhanced membership programs, with exclusive amenities for new and existing patrons
- A premier show lighting system to meet today’s industry standards
- Superior audio/video system and upgraded technology throughout the whole theater
“The County of Bergen is proud to support the arts and partner with the bergenPAC board of trustees on this major renovation which will provide needed upgrades to the facility, realize cost-savings, and further the facility’s mission of providing a home for youth to be educated in the arts and to present a wide range of live entertainment for the community,” Tedesco said in a statement.
BergenPAC also plans to expand its Performing Arts School programming, including with immersion opportunities — like those created for special needs students and young adults, and funding for public school special assemblies.
Work at the theater began in March and the venue expects to reopen this fall, with several shows — Art Garfunkel in October and Lewis Black the next month, for example — already booked. In the meantime, it will offer programming from Westfield Garden Plaza in Paramus throughout the spring and summer.
“The closing of the bond sale is a celebration for everyone, from patrons that will enjoy outstanding performances in a world-class venue with new amenities; to the students that will experience the joy of performing on the big stage; to the professional performers themselves, who will marvel at the new state of the art sound system and lighting,” said Robert Cook, founding trustee and chairman of the board for bergenPAC.