Press release

April 14, 2022

Stambaugh Auditorium Unveils Exterior Lighting Enhancement Component of the Monumental Staircase and Facade Restoration Project

At an event held Wednesday, April 13, 2022, officials from Stambaugh Auditorium, members of the construction team, project donors, and elected officials viewed the exterior lighting enhancements which are a key component of the Stambaugh Auditorium Monumental Staircase and Facade Restoration Project. The event also marked the beginning of the final phase of fundraising and construction for the project. 

The $4.1 million project includes replacing the monumental staircase and promenade, adding handicapped accessibility from the Stambaugh Garden to the promenade, cleaning the exterior of the building, and adding exterior lighting. Matt Pagac, Stambaugh Auditorium Chief Executive and Operating Officer, gave an update on the progress of the overall project and led a demonstration of the exterior lighting enhancements. The programmable RGBW LED lighting provides a full spectrum of colors with up-lighting that encircles the entire perimeter of the south end of the building, along with down-lighting to enhance the majestic pillars at the front entrance of the building. LED lighting has also been added to the new handrails on the staircase and within the handicapped accessible ramp. Additionally, energy efficient wall packs and electrical outlets have been installed for added illumination and to maximize electrical capacity for exterior events. Pagac said, “We are very close to completion of the project and are waiting on the finishing touches such as hardware for the entry doors, some final electrical work, and landscaping.” He said that the project should be completed by mid-June with a ribbon-cutting tentatively scheduled for June 14th. 

JoAnn Stock, Stambaugh Auditorium Chief Development Officer, reported that the Stambaugh Auditorium Capital Campaign Committee, led by co-chairs Bill Conti, Emeritus Board Member, and Scott Schulick, current Vice President of the Stambaugh Auditorium Board of Directors, are hard at work raising the additional $500,000 needed to complete the project. Stock said, “Restoration of the iconic monumental staircase is vital to the preservation of this historical landmark.” On the National Register of Historic Places, Stambaugh Auditorium, built in 1926, is located within the historic Fifth Avenue and Wick Park neighborhood and represents the gateway to downtown Youngstown from the Northside and historic Fifth Avenue and Wick Park neighborhoods. 

Stock reported that over $3.6 million has been raised for the project, with significant gift commitments coming from local foundations including; $750,000 in gifts from Trusts managed by Huntington Bank including gifts of $250,000 from The Frank and Pearl Gelbman Foundation, and $250,000 from the Ward Beecher and Florence Simon Beecher Foundation and $250,000 from the Hynes-Finnegan Foundation; The Youngstown Foundation with a total of $750,000 including fights from the Hine Memorial Fund, the Williamson Fund, the Darling Fund; and the Monday Musical Fund; $175,000 from the Betty H. Brown Jagnow Revocable Trust; $150,000 from the John S. and Doris M. Andrews Memorial Fund of

the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley; $75,000 from the Pollock Personal and Company Foundations; $60,000 from the J. Ford Crandall Foundation; $50,000 from the Thomases Family Endowment of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation; and $30,000 from the Premier Bank Foundation. Additionally, $1,350,000 has been committed through the State of Ohio Capital Budget appropriation. While a few key foundation proposals are currently pending, Stock added, “Our goal is to raise the remaining $500,000 needed for the project through the public phase of the campaign which is in progress now.” 

A page on the Stambaugh Auditorium website ( has been devoted to the project and includes a project overview and updates, giving information, and a live construction cam. For more information, contact JoAnn Stock at 330-747-5175 or [email protected]