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SEATTLE-It’s been 40 years since the Seattle Center Opera House has been renovated. But after this week’s performances, the facility, first built in 1927, will close until 2003 for construction.

The opera house will reopen as Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in the summer of 2003.

Included in the $125-million in improvements are:

– making the hall earthquake-proof through seismic improvements

– bringing the 1927 plumbing and electrical systems up to code

– providing twice as many women’s restrooms

– replacing the air conditioning and heating systems

– demolishing the cracking 1962 façade

– remodeling the 74-year-old performance and public spaces

– improving the work areas backstage

– adding box seating and improve sighting

– meeting Americans with Disabilities Act and life safety standards

The Seattle Center Foundation is leading the charge to raise $70 million in private funds to complete the facility’s financing.

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