As is often the case in a community like Plymouth, old neighbors are the first to lend a helping hand. For many years, Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) maintained its billing center next door to the Rees Theater. They have now become the first in the neighborhood to step forward and offer assistance with the restoration efforts of the Rees Theater, a community landmark at the corner of Michigan and LaPorte Streets.
NIPSCO partners with Lockheed Martin Energy, a specialist in implementing energy-saving solutions, to administer their commercial, industrial and non-profit energy efficiency programs across their Northern Indiana grid. Jaime Weber, a representative of Lockheed Martin Energy, was in contact with Randy Danielson of the Rees project committee this week offering to help with the first phase initiative.
The masonry façade and historic marquee will be addressed this spring and become operational yet this summer. “Efficiency measures will be taken throughout this restoration, and operating the marquee on certain evenings of the week to enhance the downtown streetscape is expected to be done through sponsorships,” stated Danielson.
In partnership with Windy City Lighting of Chicago, NIPSCO will be retrofitting the marquee - which was restored in 1997 - with energy efficient, long-life LED bulbs that will replace the existing incandescent bulbs.
“This is not the first energy-saving project in Plymouth, as a number of churches, businesses and private clubs have benefited from this program including our funeral home and retail store. There is no doubt that the Rees is a big project, but I am encouraged by this major corporate gift and the offer of many other helping hands.” concluded Danielson.
“Projects like the Rees Theater marquee lighting retrofit are a win for local business, community and the environment,” said Victoria Vrab, director of demand side management programs from NIPSCO. LED technology has come a long way in recent years, and applications like this are an innovative example. We are proud to be part of keeping this community landmark shining brightly and efficiently into the future.”
To ensure the ongoing operation of the marquee on selected evenings of the week, the Rees Project Committee intends to seek monthly sponsorships to cover the cost of lighting. This will begin after the façade and marquee work is complete with the sponsors name or logo featured in one of the restored playbill cases on the front of the Rees.