Walking into the Auburn Schine Theater two years ago, most developers would have been daunted by what they saw: ruptured ceilings, plaster debris, bird droppings.
Not Bryan Bowers.
Bowers is founder and president of Asbestos & Environmental Consulting Corporation and Bowers Development, both of East Syracuse. And, as of December, the developer is the new owner of the Schine. Through Schines Theater LLC, Bowers purchased the historic building from its owner of 20 years, the Cayuga County Arts Council, for $15,000.
Now, Bowers and his companies are planning how to succeed where others have not and restore the Schine to its 1938 art deco glory.
Monday, in his first interview with The Citizen, Bowers said the restoration is stalled until the city of Auburn receives paperwork for a $1 million Restore NY grant from Empire State Development. The city applied for the grant on the project’s behalf, and the award was announced in March 2018. The city hopes to receive that paperwork within the next few weeks, Bowers said.
Bowers said the city has been “absolutely tremendous” in its support of the Schine’s restoration. That support has included allocating $800,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the removal of the theater’s asbestos and other hazardous materials in 2018. Those funds also covered the installation of a new roof and the acquisition of materials to build a new stage, Bowers said.