MILBRIDGE — After about six years of planning and fundraising, community members and construction workers broke ground at the new home of the Milbridge Theatre and Arts Center Monday morning.
“We’re breaking ground for Phase 1, and that is to get the shell up. Phase 2 will be to finish the interior before we can make it a usable, functionable place,” said Cathy Chipman, vice-chair of Gateway Milbridge.
Chipman said the old Milbridge Theatre served as an entertainment hub for people of all ages.
“To bring that back again and have movies, theatre, live performances, educational programming, and stuff, it’ll be a great thing, not only for Milbridge, but for all the surrounding communities,” Chipman said.
Lewis Pinkham, the town manager of Milbridge, said the project has received a lot of support.
“The amount of volunteers that we’ve had help with this project and the amount of people that have been doing donations to get this project as far along as we are, we figured it would take about four more years to get to where we are now,” Pinkham said.
Community members are looking forward to seeing the theatre come to life.
“A few people had a vision. They just plugged away and plugged away, and one by one the community got on board,” said Jacquie Leighton, a resident of Milbridge. “The support grew and grew and grew, and here we are today.”
“It will be exciting to have a theatre to have a place where there can be art shows or maybe plays, whatever, but it will be a center for the town,” said Ellen Strought of Milbridge.
There is no set completion date for the project, but Pinkham said he hopes to be in the building by next spring.