As you know, Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre (FMCT), the longest-running arts organization in the Red River Valley, is working with construction experts to develop a plan moving forward after a structural issue was discovered in the organization’s 52-year-old theatre. And we’re looking for your support.
Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre (FMCT), the longest-running arts organization in the Red River Valley, is working with construction experts to develop a plan moving forward after a structural issue was discovered in the organization’s 52-year-old theatre.
Following a performance of “A Christmas Carol” on Friday, December 13, a fracture was discovered in one of the beams above the stage. A team of engineers and construction experts was brought to the theatre on Saturday morning to investigate the source of the fracture, upon which they discovered that the issue had spread throughout the auditorium’s roof and catwalk system. At this point it was determined that no one would be allowed to enter the auditorium, and that the remaining two productions of “A Christmas Carol” would be canceled.
The situation escalated between Monday and Tuesday, as the catwalk system had begun to sag inward. Not knowing when or how this would affect the rest of the building, engineers urged on Tuesday that the entire building be vacated. The City of Fargo has since marked the building as unsafe and unlawful to enter at the present time.
The cause of the initial fracture has not been determined. According to Executive Director Eloise Breikjern, FMCT had no prior knowledge of damage to or vulnerabilities in the building’s structure.
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“This was a completely unexpected, out-of-the-blue event. We didn’t know about anything that would have led us to make any changes,” Breikjern said. “But we are grateful that no one was injured, and no significant equipment has been damaged.”
A decision has not yet been made about the future of the building, as the engineers continue to assess options. FMCT’s educational programs, scheduled to begin on January 11, will go on as scheduled at Studio 6 Broadway.
Despite setbacks caused by their building, Artistic Director Adam Pankow says that FMCT remains optimistic about the future of the organization.
”There have been some tears shed, there is such as strong connection to that space, but at the end of the day it is just a building. The crumbling of a building does not mean the crumbling of an organization. There are a lot of really smart and passionate people working together to get us back on our feet, and wherever we land, it will still feel like a home because it will still be FMCT.Adam PankowArtistic Director
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