Things brighten up for downtown stage

Apr. 24—Things are looking brighter for the new pavilion/outdoor stage in downtown McAlester.

Three different types of lighting have been added, along with additional work on the back walls, the installation of railing on the front steps and other improvements.

Also, four panels of the black metal roofing that were somehow not delivered with the initial order finally arrived Monday and now are in place as well.

"We installed the four remaining roofing panels and trim," said Mike Pruitt, who contracted to build the downtown pavilion/outdoor stage at First Street and Choctaw Avenue after initial plans for the project stalled.

Workers competed the roofing portion of the job by around 5 p.m., he said. They then took a dinner break before returning and working into the night.

"We worked until 10:30 on Monday night," Pruitt said. Pruitt.

He's pleased with the types of lighting now installed on the structure.

"We added LED stage lights," Pruitt said. He said the eight LED stage lights have four separate adjustments. They were set at the brightest levels as of early Tuesday, but Pruitt planned to place them on a lower setting.

"They're too bright," he said.

He also added hanging lights to represent railroad lights around the structure, since a new group of downtown merchants — several of whom donated funds to help pay for the new downtown pavilion/outdoor stage — have named themselves The Railway District.

Pointing to the hanging lights, Pruitt said "We have six of them." One light hangs from each of the building's four corners, with two more hanging from the structure's gabled peaks on both the north and south sides of the new building.

In addition, patio lights donated by Lady Rustic, a nearby shop, now hang from the top of the pavilion and cover its perimeter.

Pruitt said the lights are connected so they will automatically come on at night.

Other work included the addition of a concrete stucco finish on both sides of the back wall and the addition of hand rails going up the front steps.

Pruitt said Tuesday he's working in his shop to weld the remaining railing to be placed around the stage perimeter.

With completion of a few more minor tasks, the new downtown pavilion/outdoor stage will soon be ready for the final sweep-out, he said, with an official ribbon-cutting dedication to be announced.