Texas gets back air and heat

December 14, 2010

Texas Theatre now has working heating and air conditioning. If you would like to make a donation to go toward the Air Conditioning Fund please contact Cody Wilkinson at 864-3688. Any and all donations are appreciated.

Air Conditioning and Heating return to the Texas Theatre
When the Texas Theatre opened its doors for business in 1935,it was one of the few places in town with air conditioning. But last spring, almost as soon as the Theatre had reopened for business,it had to quickly shut down again because of air conditioning problems. According to the S.T.T.A.R. board Chairman, Cody Wilkinson, the Texas Theatre opening weekend of Iron Man 2 brought out more than 300 people to the Theatre. “There was a great response from the community, and it proved the need and viability of the project” Wilkinson stated.
Ironically the same thing that brought thousands of people to the Theatre in the 1930’s, the air conditioning, was the main hurdle the S.T.T.A.R. board had to overcome. “People aren’t going to sit in a hot theatre to watch a movie. They have to be comfortable. Because the old units were not repairable, we had to make the decision to close the Texas Theatre again until we were able to raise enough money to purchase new air conditioning units;”Tom Henderson, S.T.T.A.R. board member stated. Ray Browning, who is in charge of fund raising for S.T.T.A.R., reported that the board had applied for a number of grants that would help fund the purchase of the air conditioning units, but the grants were not awarded. “Grants have been much harder to obtain recently due to the poor economy. Non-profit organizations are holding on to all their money to make sure they stay solvent in these difficult times” Browning observed.
Events changed this fall when Texas State bank generously agreed to loan the S.T.T.A.R. board the money for improvements. When the theatre board was first contemplating borrowing money for the units, many of the members were worried about a non-profit taking out a loan. “We are great at being a non-profit. We never make any money” a board member announced at a meeting. Unfortunately, without adequate climate control in the theatre, very few events would be able to be held at the Texas Theatre. In this case the old adage “You have to spend money to make money” seemed a certainly prudent bit of advice. On November 2, with the help of a donated crane from Mahaffey Construction, two brand new HUVAC units were placed on top of the Texas Theatre. Garcia Electric started installation in hopes of completion just in time for the first round of cold weather.
Now that the Texas Theatre has a good climate control system, maybe thousands of people will return to the Texas Theatre for their entertainment. The aim is to make the Texas Theatre a gathering place for entertainment and socializing just as it was in the 1930’s. Movie patrons are again enjoying watching movies at the Texas Theatre as they have for 75 years. If you would like to make a donation to go toward the Air Conditioning Fund please contact Cody Wilkinson at 864-3688. Any and all donations are appreciated.


Tenaska......pros and cons

December 18, 2010 by thepragmatist (not verified), 4 years 37 weeks ago
Comment: 61

Time for me to pipe in on the Tenaska project. On the pro side, the project would be VERY beneficial to the local economy, providing job opportunities to locals and importing workers from afar during the construction phase. Many of these workers would choose to reside locally if rental units were available and the sales tax revenues would see a significant increase. Local vendors, primarily construction related, would see increased revenue and possibly an opportunity to increase staff. All good things, BUT, with air quality permits granted, and the road towards progress of the project being paved, the one question which has not been addressed with certainty is WATER. Our Mayor, who has stated on local televised media that although Nolan County may not have sufficient water resources to supply Tenaska with their water needs, there were sufficient resources in "the region". Months later, and with the obvious progression towards construction, neither Tenaska nor the city of Sweetwater have disclosed their water source. At this point, Tenaska must feel confident that their water needs can be met, yet the source has not ben disclosed.
I am neither adamantly opposed , nor strongly in favor of the project. I just feel that full disclosure of how the Tenaska project intends to aquire the necessary water to cool their systems needs to be made public, and what impact, if any, may be felt by local residents.
I challenge city government, or Tenaska to fully disclose their plans to aquire the water necessary to operate.

pros and cons

December 19, 2010 by raiderfan (not verified), 4 years 36 weeks ago
Comment: 63

@ thepragmatist,
My complements on such an even handed consideration of the issue. Many of the comments here and in the Abilene Reporter quickly degenerated into name calling. If you oppose Tenaska you are called a tree hugging loon or obstructionist. If you support Tenaska you are a paid Tenaska stooge. Thanks for the fresh air.
Your water concerns are very relevent for this area, unfortunately there is not much news to share. Tenaska appears to be considering multiple sources but is not making any of this public at this time. Some see the secrecy as conspiratory but really, most business negiotations are not conducted in public. There is nothing for the City of Sweetwater to disclose. Tenaska withdrew from discussions with Sweetwater over one year ago and there have been no talks since. It is my understanding that Sweetwater was on the verge of an agreement with Abilene to provide treated effluent to Abilene to resell to Tenaska. That fell through this summer which is unfortunate. Treated effluent seems to be the most sensible approach. It would be a way to provide water to Tenaska without impacting surface and ground water resources. We'll see what the future holds.

I'm glad to see the theater

December 15, 2010 by KaraBStewart (not verified), 4 years 37 weeks ago
Comment: 59

I'm glad to see the theater is back on it's feet! It's always horrible when you are stuck in a "sticky" situation like this. I use to work in a theater in Arizona and this happened once. It sounds like you had just as many pitfalls raising adequate funding for something essential like phoenix air conditioning repair. I've been to this theater before and can't wait to visit it again so I can experience the now 'cool' theater.


December 14, 2010 by rlrainwater2010 (not verified), 4 years 37 weeks ago
Comment: 57

Cool! Now everyone has a place to go and watch movies locally again without making a trip to Abilene.

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