Jessica Lilly Published

Funding Secures Postsecondary Education And Entertainment For Downtown Bluefield 

Granada Theater Commerce Street Bluefield WV street scene at night.jpg

The Bluefield Arts and Revitalization Corporation has big plans for a portion of a Bluefield building that’s been vacant for decades. The space on Raleigh Street that previously housed a tire and auto center will soon be used for entertainment and education.

The Granada Theater was renovated and reopened in 2021. The new project will renovate a former auto center which is located on the lower level of the Granada and accessible in the rear of the historical theater. The level will be remodeled to host New River Community and Technical College teaching labs.

“New River welcomes the opportunity to make its affordable and high-quality workforce training programs accessible to people in the Bluefield area,” said Dr. Bonnie Copenhaven, President of New River Community and Technical College.

The project will also provide two more theaters, each with fifty seats and new amenities. The space will also be available for community events, film festivals, and more.

“The project’s creative use of underutilized space will create opportunities for entertainment, employment, and education in downtown Bluefield, benefiting residents throughout the city and across the region,” Executive Director of the Bluefield Arts and Revitalization Corporation Brian Tracey, said.

Raleigh Street space - before construction.jpg

Raleigh Street space before construction.

The project comes with a $1.65 million price tag. The Bluefield Arts and Revitalization Corporation secured a portion of the funds through a program called New Markets tax credits and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

“The use of New Markets tax credits to finance this project will act as a catalyst for economic development in Bluefield, contributing to the positive momentum already present downtown and demonstrating the value of tax credit programs for the revitalization of the city,” said Ron Martin, Mayor of Bluefield.

The Bluefield Economic Development Authority, Community Ventures, and Hugh I. Shott, Jr. Foundation, are also financial supporters of the project.