The National Comedy Center (NCC) has awarded a $2.9 million contract to an Argyle company.
Adirondack Studios will fabricate and install the scenic components of the center and its exhibits.
The project involves renovation and restoration of the historic Jamestown Gateway train station. Jamestown is in the southern tier, in Chautauqua County.
Adirondack Studios creates the scenic and themed environments experienced in venues that range from theme parks to casinos, museums, live shows, retail and public art. With this contract, the project continues to make progress toward its targeted summer 2018 opening, according to state officials.
The center will celebrate the history of comedy, the craft and its artists.
“The National Comedy Center, once completed, will boost the local economy and spur job creation for Western New York, while creating a world-class cultural hub for visitors and residents alike,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “This contract with Adirondack Studios brings us one step closer to completing this project, which will add further momentum to this region’s renaissance.”
As the successful bidder for the “scenic” portion of the attraction, Adirondack Studios will be responsible for all of the custom cabinetry, fixtures, specialty finishes and exhibits for the entire attraction. The company does it for projects across the country and throughout the world.
“We are thrilled to have a New York based world-class company like Adirondack on the NCC team and look forward to working closely with them and our other partners to create this amazing attraction,” said NCC Chairman Tom Benson.
Adirondack Studios Vice President Michael Blau said his company made “a deliberate decision to be based in Upstate New York to support regional economies with workforce development. Adirondack Studios is proud to be an important member of the National Comedy Center team. Just as comedy has its roots in storytelling, Adirondack Studios will use its expertise in theater to create a unique and engaging experience for visitors.”
Adirondack Studios was founded in 1975 as a resource for design and custom fabrication. Its 125,000-square-foot facility includes dedicated studios for design, carpentry, metal, paint, electrics, soft goods and project management. Adirondack Studios supports its offices in Singapore, Shanghai, Dubai, Orlando and Pasadena from this facility.
State Sen. Betty Little said the National Comedy Center and Adirondack Studios “are a great partnership well worth the support of this public-private investment with Empire State Development. As a former chair and now member of the Senate Tourism Committee and a representative wanting to see more job opportunities created, I applaud the support being offered by Gov. Cuomo and Empire State Development that will be impactful in numerous ways.”
Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner said, “I am certain that the contributions of Adirondack Studios will be admired by all who visit the National Comedy Center. The partnership of these two New York-based institutions will result in an overall experience that is second to none.”
Construction on the National Comedy Center began in 2016 and will continue through 2018. Its 37,000 square feet of exhibit space involves construction of a new 6,000 square-foot building and the renovation of two historic buildings, which along with an exterior screening area and an adjacent Comedy Park will comprise the National Comedy Center campus.
When it opens, the National Comedy Center is expected to draw 114,000 visitors annually and support 184 jobs, officials said.
State officials said the $50 million National Comedy Center project is designed to be a national attraction dedicated to the celebration and promotion of the art of comedy. The center will be a nonprofit cultural institution offering year-round experiential and interactive exhibits and programming. It will also support aspiring artists through educational programming in comedic arts.
The center has received $4.4 million in funding from Empire State Development and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, through rounds four, five and six of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The state also committed an additional $5 million to the National Comedy Center through phase II of the Buffalo Billion initiative.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey said the center “has multiple benefits for our economy, including revitalizing historic buildings, enhancing tourism and now supporting the work of New York craftspeople.”
The center’s website is www.comedycenter.org.