City breaks ground on Paramount Theatre restoration - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

City breaks ground on Paramount Theatre restoration

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

It was one of the most devastating images from the flood in Cedar Rapids back in 2008.

The historic disaster sent more than eight feet of water through the Paramount Theatre.  The city vowed to bring back their crown jewel.

On Wednesday, the long awaited restoration work on the flood-damaged Paramount Theatre in downtown Cedar Rapids is finally ready to move from the planning to the construction stage. City leaders and members of the public gathered in front of the facility's marquee. A brass quartet played as Mayor Ron Corbett vowed to restore and improve the venue.

Council Member Monica Vernon reflected on her memories there.

"It's an incredible feeling. Not only will we have this beautiful surrounding, all restored, but also it will be state of the art. How can you get any better than that?" said Vernon.

On Tuesday, the Cedar Rapids city council received the first bids for the repair work to the historic theater damaged in the flood of 2008.  Miron Construction of Cedar Rapids submitted the apparent low bid of $5.38-million dollars for one of the larger portions of the project.  The first bid contract includes expansion of the stage to accommodate much larger Broadway-type shows, the addition of dressing rooms and the construction of a "penthouse" that will house all the mechanical equipment out of the way of future flooding.

The city of Cedar Rapids had estimated the initial project at $5.5-million dollars. Miron was the only bidder below the engineer's estimate and a million dollars cheaper than the next nearest competitor.

Council members did not actually award the bids on Tuesday because staff members want to take another two weeks to compare all the alternatives. That would mean the actual awarding of the first Paramount bid on June 28th.

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