Weber County approves reroofing of Eccles center, Peery's theater

Jun 19 2013 - 12:08am

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OGDEN -- The Eccles Conference Center and Peery's Egyptian Theater provide a variety of services for Ogden residents, and a contract approval to reroof them reflects the value Weber County places on both locations.

"It's a real gem of our community, and I think it will continue to be for a long time," Weber County Commissioner Terry Gibson said after the budget for the reroofing was approved.

The Weber County Commission approved the $295,000 contract with Redd Roofing, which had been anticipated as part of a five-year capital plan presented to the commission regarding maintenance for Eccles and the theater, which are physically joined but often used separately.

Marty Smith, Peery's executive director, is relieved and excited at the prospect of getting the damaged roof fixed, because there have been problems with leaks for some time.

"After 17 years of being in business, there comes a time to replace it. We will communicate with the company that was awarded the contract, and thankfully it should not close down the theater or the conference center while improvements are being made," Smith said.

The theater was built in 1924 and served as a movie palace for several years. In the 1980s it became dilapidated and was nearly taken down, but eventually it was fully refurbished as a multiuse entertainment theater, and it opened, along with the Eccles Center, in 1997. The roof has not been redone since then.

"We definitely have many facilities, and one of the challenging things through our budgeting process is long-term maintenance to keep them safe for everyone. A lot of damage can happen, so we try to look ahead and plan accordingly," Gibson said.

In recent years, Eccles and Peery's have extended their services beyond the needs of local events. The Sundance Film Festival now uses the theater as an extension of its yearly screenings in Park City, and statewide beauty pageants, including Miss Rodeo Utah, use it for their shows.

"A lot of organizations in the community depend on the theater, and Weber State University also uses it for events. We also host screenings of old movies pretty frequently, so we feel like this is an important part of the community that is used for many different things," Smith said.

The reroofing is expected to take place in mid-July, and no events or screenings are expected to be affected while the work is being done.

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