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Porter County commissioner questioned over Memorial Opera House renovations

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Memorial Opera House

Architects continue working on renovation plans for the Memorial Opera House, but funding remains uncertain. Porter County Commissioner Laura Blaney says she's met virtually with the architect and hopes to have renderings to present soon.

During Tuesday's commissioners meeting, she said a final cost had not been determined, but with prices increasing, it's likely to be over six million dollars. The use of American Rescue Plan funds is off the table, and Blaney stressed that no funding source has yet been finalized.

Valparaiso resident Dawn Miller interrogated Blaney about the project and the funding during the public comment portion of Tuesday's meeting. Miller felt the money could be better used helping residents and businesses.

But Blaney argued that the Memorial Opera House serves many community members and that the renovation furthers its original intent of memorializing Civil War veterans. Blaney added that there are all kinds of benefits to having a vibrant arts community.