Numerous scaffolding will enable workers to repair the ceiling of the Morris Performing Arts Center

SOUTH BEND — The coronavirus may have shut down operations at the Morris Performing Arts Center. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of activity.

For the past week and a half, a crew from Seaway Scaffold & Equipment in the Toledo area has installed three semi-tractor loads of steel scaffolding to create a platform 70 feet above the floor of the Morris.

At the top, they will place about 300 sheets of 4-by-8-foot plywood that will serve as the work floor for a separate Gibson-Lewis crew. Over the next four weeks, those workers will use anchors to secure decorative plaster pieces around the oculus and other spots at the top of the ceiling.

The work had to be done.

In September 2018, an estimated 15-pound piece of decorative plaster fell from the ceiling, forcing scheduled performances by Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Alison Krauss and the South Bend Symphony Orchestra to be rescheduled.

Fortunately, there was no one in the theater at the time.

An engineering firm was hired to study the problem and recommend solutions. A net was temporarily hung just below the ceiling as security to keep the shows going until the Morris could be shut down for work.

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