For Immediate Release - October 19, 2010

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Support for Greenfield's Garden Theater Performing Arts Center Project at the Bank Row Complex

Project to create over 100 new jobs; provide Greenfield Community College with new performing arts space

GREENFIELD - Tuesday, October 19, 2010 -- As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's continued support for job creation and higher education, Administration and Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez today announced an $875,000 state commitment for the Garden Theater Performing Arts Center at the Bank Row Complex.

The Commonwealth's funding commitment will help leverage over $16 million in additional private and federal funds to support renovation and improvements to the Garden Theater and the First National Bank. When complete, the Garden Theater will provide Greenfield Community College students with a much-needed performing arts space and will transform First National Bank into a multiplex cinema.

"This is a great project for the residents of Greenfield, and I know Governor Patrick is proud to support this important development," said Secretary Gonzalez. "Greenfield is undergoing a significant revitalization and the Administration is proud to invest in this next piece."

The project is estimated to result in 60 direct construction jobs and 104 permanent jobs.

"Without the demonstrated support of Governor Patrick, Secretary Gonzalez, Senator Rosenberg and others who recognize the critical need for an investment by the Commonwealth in this project, we would not be here today in appreciation of this announcement of a significant infusion of funding," said GCC President Robert Pura. "The Garden Theatre Performing Arts Center Complex project is an example of a public/private partnership that engages many stakeholders working toward the common goal of both meeting an identified college and community need and at the same time investing in the region's economic revitalization. GCC, the Town of Greenfield, the building owners and state and local financing institutions continue to work diligently on finding the best model to create a vibrant, sustainable performing arts center in downtown Greenfield. On behalf of the GCC campus community, I thank the Governor Patrick, Secretary Gonzalez and Senator Rosenberg for recognizing that the creation of a performing arts space benefits the teaching and learning experience for our students and faculty and provides programming opportunities with a positive impact across this college and the community we serve."

The Garden Theater was opened in 1929 and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. Re-use of the theater by Greenfield Community College will give the college a downtown presence and will help boost economic activity.

"I am proud to stand with Secretary Gonzalez, and the entire Patrick Administration, in making this announcement," State Senator Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) said. "The spirit of partnership that currently exists between state and local officials is rapidly turning Greenfield into another jewel of western Mass."

"This project marks another significant piece to the ongoing revitalization of downtown Greenfield," said Representative Christopher Donelan (D-Orange) "Governor Patrick understands how important our Main Streets are in Western Massachusetts and he continues to invest in us."

The Garden Theater project is just one of the many investments the Patrick-Murray Administration is making in Greenfield. A $60 million renovation of the Franklin County Courthouse is set to begin in Fiscal Year 2012, while federal stimulus dollars will fund construction of a $12 million intermodal transportation facility.

"We are fortunate to not only have the opportunity to create such a Performing Arts center in these historic buildings but to have the genuine support of the Patrick - Murray Administration," said Mayor Bill Martin. "They have viewed Greenfield, the hub of Franklin County, as the crossroads for transportation, highway and trade; and for the advancement of broadband, cultural choices and learning for the Western Massachusetts communities. Greenfield enjoys a "boom' of sorts with over $83 million presently under construction and another $100 million permitted and funded and we intend to maximize all of our opportunities and meet all of our expectations."