CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- City Council approved spending $800,000 in tax-payer money Monday on renovating the Orchestra-level ladies' bathrooms at the Belk Theatre.
The entire project will cost around $844,100 to complete. The extra $44,000 will come from the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center funds.
There are currently 24 ladies' stalls, which is technically enough for the theatre capacity. However, the theatre's patrons typically all use the bathroom at the same time, which Blumenthal Performing Arts Center President Tom Gabbard says causes some awfully long lines.
"In our customer surveys, it is the top complaint. They love everything else about coming to the Belk Theatre, but waiting in line to go to the bathroom the whole intermission is kind of a drag," said Gabbard.
The city of Charlotte owns the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, so council opened the project for bidding back in June.
The selected bid expects to complete the renovation project for $844,100. The plan is to replace all 24 of the women's stalls and then add 24 more.
"This is the first major overhaul since 1992, that's when the Belk Theatre opened," explained Gabbard, "it's a large number of toliets, plumbing, sinks and more."
"This isn't a case of pulling a number out of thin air," noted City Councilman Warren Cooksey, "this is the Blumenthal identifying what work needed to be done and we are picking the best responsive bid."
The renovation is expected to take about six months. Theatre-goers should not expect to be impacted.
There are no plans to renovate the men's restrooms.
The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center has about $40million worth of impact annually on Charlotte's economy.