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Letter: Not everything in Rochester needs to be an extravaganza

October 31, 2017 GMT

Our Chateau Theatre needs to be restored, and the sooner the better. What the alarmingly disengaged Rochester citizens don’t seem to realize is that this project has been hijacked with a typical overreach by the people behind this proposal.

The theater needs a straightforward restoration, made to look as much as reasonably possible as it did before. This could be done for a millionth the price of the project now being proposed. Everybody seems to think that they have inherited their fat cat uncle’s gold mines. Spending with reckless abandon, Rochester taxpayers will have to pay in the end.

Our Chateau does not need a new two-story basement, with hydraulic equipment to raise and lower the floor for dancing. It does not need to have its walls bumped out to create another stage, dressing rooms and food service. This is not an event center, and it is not a disco, either. It cannot be everything to everybody. This would simply be a smaller venue for meetings, presentations, piano and ballet recitals, and movies too.

Not everything in Rochester has to be an extravaganza, a spectacular, or an exposition. Have a straightforward restoration and the cost will be substantially less than $26 million. I promise you that with a straight-ahead restoration, they will still want to use the place. To me, this is a classic bamboozle, designed to slow and stop this project, so without a way forward it will have to be torn down.

Sean Kettelkamp

Rochester