Generous donation: Milwaukee Rep gets $500K to fix sinking building

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — In response to Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s announcement that its historic building has experienced significant settling in recent years necessitating immediate repairs, The Herzfeld Foundation awarded a one-time $500,000 grant toward construction costs.

Combined with a $250,000 grant from the United Performing Arts Fund and a $75,000 grant from the Bert L and Patricia SSteigleder Charitable Trust, along with contributions from several individuals, The Rep has secured commitments for more than 50% of the $1.75 million in total repair costs.

As previously announced, Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s historic building, which unites all its production shops, theaters and administrative offices, is settling. The original portion of the building dating back to 1897 is supported by hundreds of wooden pilings which have begun to deteriorate.

The deterioration began with a drop in Milwaukee’s water table which exposed the wooden pilings making them susceptible to rot. At this time, the settling poses no threat to the public or Rep employees; however a permanent fix must occur in the near future.

With secured funding, The Rep plans to begin construction to make necessary repairs during the summer of 2014.