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Woonsocket's newly finished performing arts center gets first look

WOONSOCKET -- Hundreds of people packed into a new building in Woonsocket to take a first look at the city's recently completed performing arts center.

People listen to performers at the recently-completed Woonsocket event center Sunday afternoon during an open house to showcase the finished project. (Caitlynn Peetz/Republic)
People listen to performers at the recently-completed Woonsocket event center Sunday afternoon during an open house to showcase the finished project. (Caitlynn Peetz/Republic)

WOONSOCKET - Hundreds of people packed into a new building in Woonsocket to take a first look at the city's recently completed performing arts center.

The addition, tacked onto the north end of the existing Woonsocket Community Center and officially completed last week, was on display to the public for the first time Sunday afternoon, hosting a variety of activities such as performances by area individual's, dinner for a free-will offering and a Newlywed game to cap off the night.

"We're so happy with how it turned out," Woonsocket Superintendent Rod Weber said. "I think it's a good project to keep the fine arts alive in Woonsocket."

Along with a stage, the event center addition houses dressing rooms, a storage room and restrooms.

The project, spearheaded by the Woonsocket School District and the city of Woonsocket, is intended to create space for performing arts programs at the school, but also focuses on providing for community members, too. There will be a small fee for people to rent the space, Weber said, and those funds will be used to "sustain the building."

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This includes paying for bills and minor repairs, Weber said, adding the facility will allow Woonsocket to host more events, rather than opting to travel to nearby towns like Mitchell.

The approximately $120,000 project is funded through $42,000 of donations, a $25,000 commitment from the city of Woonsocket and $30,000 from the Woonsocket school. The school also purchased a $7,000 sound system installed in the building.

Prior to the event, funding for the project was approximately $1,500 shy of the $120,000 goal, but Weber hoped that money would be raised Sunday.

"We'll see, but we have so much support tonight and that's awesome," Weber said. "I never thought we'd have this much, so we're really excited about that."

Sisters (from left to right) Aleya, Abigayle and Ashley Fry perform Sunday afternoon at the recently-completed Woonsocket event center during an open house to showcase the finished project. (Caitlynn Peetz/Republic)
Sisters (from left to right) Aleya, Abigayle and Ashley Fry perform Sunday afternoon at the recently-completed Woonsocket event center during an open house to showcase the finished project. (Caitlynn Peetz/Republic)

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