By Lisa Martone
DES MOINES-- The signs are all over the place: separation in walls, huge gaps in doorways and sloping floors. The Des Moines Playhouse is sinking.
"The building was built on a sanitary landfill," said Executive Director of the Des Moines Playhouse, John Viars. "It was built in 1934. The part that we are in front of right now is having the worst problem."
The portion of the building facing 42nd Street in Des Moines used to be an outside courtyard, so the foundation was built differently from the rest of the building. That on top of poor soil conditions is causing the problem.
"It is actually sinking and pulls away from the rest of the building to the extent that we moved the offices out of this part of the building," said Viars.
It's a fix that needs to be made. While they are addressing the settling issues, the playhouse will undergo a $10 million dollar renovation. Most of the equipment and main stage has not been upgraded in more than 30 years. They will get new chairs, lights, classrooms and an addition to the west side of the building. They have already received a little over $3 million dollars from private donors, but are reaching out to volunteers and the public to help with the rest.
"It's an important part of our community," Viars said. "It actually changes the lives of the people involved."
If you would like to help raise money or donate contact the Des Moines play house.