Money From And For The Capitol

Don’t call it pork if you’re a fan of the Capitol Theatre in Wheeling, W.Va. U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd tacked on a rider to a recent federal bill that wound up giving the theatre $200,000 in taxpayer money for restoration.

The 81-year-old theatre, long known as the Capitol Music Hall, needs about $3.3 million to return it to its former luster.

The money provided by the Fiscal 2010 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, signed into law by President Obama Oct. 30, should keep the ball rolling. Another $396,000 was granted by the Wheeling City Council, according to the Wheeling News-Register.

“It will be used to secure the building from weather,” Hydie Friend, executive director of the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corp., told the paper.

There is plenty left to do on the years-long project. Electrical/plumbing work is estimated at $270,000, sound/lighting runs $366,000, ballroom upgrades $400,000 and reupholstering seats $786,000, the paper said.