Gov. Gina Raimondo is helping to kick off the upcoming restoration of Newport's nearly 150-year-old opera house.
The Democrat is the keynote speaker at today's event celebrating the restoration of the Newport Opera House Theater and Performing Arts Center.
A spokesman for the group behind the restoration says it will cost at least $14 million to restore the building overlooking the city's Washington Square. It's set to become a year-round performing arts center with a rooftop garden terrace.
A $4.2 million state grant from a 2014 voter-backed bond measure will help pay for the mostly privately funded project.
The opera house, built in 1867, was used as a cinema for much of the 20th century before closing in 2010.
Construction begins this spring. The re-opening is set for late 2017.