Marion Reid

Volunteer fundraiser Marion Reid shows off the designs to convert an old gym at Holland College into a theatre. (CBC)

A group of volunteers is raising money to transform Holland College’s old gym into a theatre, a renovation expected to begin in the new year.

The gym is seldom used for sports, and the college wants to make it into a performance space.

The total project cost is $2.6 million. The province will pay for half if the college can come up with the rest.

“It was a natural fit to fix up this here auditorium,” said Marion Reid, a volunteer fundraiser.

The plan is for a 300-seat facility that will welcome a variety of performance arts.

Right now the gym is filled with old exercise equipment and a couple giant truck tires. But the college wants to get moving on the project, and renovations are expected to begin in the new year.

The college has raised $1 million so far, with $300,000 to go.

The prospect of a performance venue at the college is exciting for students.

“Just to get a student on a real stage like this, especially for the first time, is an eye-opening experience and could really prepare them for bigger performances in the future,” said Evan McCosham, a music performance student at Holland College.