State funds help pay for theater roof


State Sen. Steve Stadelman
State Sen. Steve Stadelman

Online Staff Report

State Sen. Steve Stadelman, D-Rockford, announced Sunday, April 27, that he is directing $35,000 in state funding toward a new roof for the Nordlof Center, the downtown dime-store-turned-theater donated to the Rockford Public Library less than two years ago.

Library trustees vote Monday, April 28, on whether to accept a bid of $63,650 to replace the roof at the former New American Theater, 118 N. Main St., which the library uses for cultural and arts programming, computer instruction and meeting rooms. The state funding, available under the Build Illinois capital development program, would cover 55 percent of the replacement cost.

The library has a solid plan for fully utilizing this public asset, and it makes sense for the state to absorb half of this unforeseen roofing expense,” said Stadelman. “This grant protects the public and private investments that have been made in the building so far and allows the library to finish converting the space.”

Private owner Richard Nordlof made several improvements before donating the building in late 2012.

As the longtime home of New American Theater,” Stadelman added, “there’s a lot of nostalgia and good will associated with this facility, and it remains a unique venue in an important downtown location.”

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