The Pella Opera House could always use a little TLC. And who’s more caring than Central College students?
As part of the college’s annual Service Day on Oct. 6, a group of Central students will work on maintenance projects from 9 a.m. to noon to keep the historic venue beautiful. Projects include painting the stage, oiling woodwork and cleaning glass chandeliers.
Pella Opera House, located at 611 Franklin St., opened in November 1900 at its current location. It operated as an entertainment venue until 1918 when it became a commercial property. It served that purpose until the 1980s when the Pella Opera House Commission acquired the property. The venue underwent a rehabilitation project that was completed in 1990. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
Today, the opera house hosts plays, concerts and other community events. It also can be rented for weddings, special events and corporate events. Self-guided tours also are available.
TravelIowa.com calls the Pella Opera House “a gorgeously restored historic opera house.”
The project is one of many taking place on Service Day, a cornerstone of the Central experience since 2006. Last year, more than 600 volunteers took part in nearly 50 projects.
Due to COVID-19, this year’s event will feature fewer volunteers per project while allowing work to be accomplished safely, with physical distancing, masks and/or remote work. There are 48 projects scheduled.
Other projects include garden work in downtown Pella; serving dinner to families through the Children and Family Urban Movement in Des Moines; and removing invasive species and collecting trash at Pella’s Big Rock Park.
Service Day is part of Central’s commitment to service learning throughout the year. More than 45 academic courses across 15 departments include semester-long components in service learning.