RED BANK — The Count Basie Center for the Arts is in construction mode.

A massive addition to the legendary theater is underway. Steel construction beams have started protruding from the west side of the project – an area that will house the Jay and Linda Grunin Arts and Education Building, plus the Basie Center’s new second venue, the ‘Rock and Rohl Rooftop Lounge’ and new classrooms and rehearsal spaces.

This $27 million expansion wouldn't be possible without the dedicated construction team who have been working long hours to make the magic happen.

On Wednesday to thank the team for their efforts, the Basie arranged to have comedian and Monmouth County resident Jon Stewart serve them lunch.

Later, Stewart signed a steel beam that will be a part of the Basie expansion.

Expansion on the east side of the facility has also begun. A new, two-story, glass-walled lobby will be constructed, creating new gathering spaces, expanded concessions and restroom facilities and a long-awaited patron elevator. Facing Monmouth Street will be the new, two-story Stillwell-Larkin Pavilion, home to a balcony level donor lounge and a street-level gateway into the new, open-air Count Basie Plaza.

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