Last week, on April 5, U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff announced that he is delivering resources through federal funding to the historic Springer Theatre in Columbus to help cover the cost of repairs to the theater's roof and drainage system.

The Springer Theatre is a national landmark in Georgia, having been open for 153 years since it first opened in 1871. It was named the state theater of Georgia by then-Gov. Jimmy Carter.

"Sen. Ossoff brought Republicans and Democrats together to deliver $460,000 for the project through this year's bipartisan government funding package," a press release said.

On the Springer Theatre, Ossoff said: "Built in 1871, The Springer Opera House is one of Georgia's most precious historical landmarks… I'm honored to help support local efforts to repair its roof and ventilation systems to preserve this landmark community center for generations to come." 

Springer Theatre CEO and Executive Producer Danielle Patterson Varner said she applied for the grant after a peer referred her to congressionally directed funding money being available. 

"About a year ago, I started the process and submitted it and have been working with Ossoff's office ever since to get it funded," she said to GPB.

As mentioned, the grant will help fund repairs at the Springer Theatre, like its roof and draining systems, and fix the building's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning issues.

"Some of the major issues are our HVAC issues," Varner said. "About three years ago, one of our major chillers went out, and we had to replace it. This was during a time when everything was on back order, and we were having issues getting in here. So, we had a rental chiller. The Springer has over 143,000 square feet, so we needed two chillers."

She added, "This money will help fund an additional chiller for the building and repair some damage to the roof and our drainage system because when it rains, the drainage system gets backed up, and we have leaks in the building. This will help protect this National Historic Landmark and all its beautiful Edwardian features."

Repairs for the theater will be completed in about four to six months. In the meantime, Varner notes audiences can enjoy Carole King's Beautiful show, which opens on April 26 and will run through May 12. 

On the future of the Springer Theatre, Varner looks forward to sustaining the building for future generations.

"We're producing theater, and we produce everything in-house," she said. "We do about 14 productions a year, and we serve a lot of patrons, not only in Columbus, but the state of Georgia as a whole, so we just want to keep her in good shape and good health for many, many more years to come."