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WKAR News

After Years Of Trying, Lansing May Finally Get A New Performance Venue

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Discussed for two decades, new state funding is expected to make a $10-million facility possible.

Two million dollars have been included in the state budget to help the city of Lansing build a long-desired performance venue.

Four different mayoral administrations have been working for more than 20 years on funding for a facility big enough to house concert tours and other events. With news that the state will provide $2-million, Lansing can finally leverage that money with public, educational, and government access fees to get serious about building a $10-million venue.

Lansing Public Media Center Director Dominic Cochran says state law prohibits using the money for other purposes like street repairs.

“We plan on building a facility that will be open and accessible and attractive to everyone in our community,” Cochran said. “To me, it’s truly once in a lifetime, so I think if we can all get behind it as a community, I think we’ll build something really special.”

The venue will be able to host concert tours and other events. Cochran adds that “Much like the Wharton (Center at Michigan State University), and how they have the Great Hall and the Pasant (Theatre), imagine one step down from that. The main venue would be about 1,500, and then one that would be even smaller than the Pasant Theatre, so more like 200 or 300. Perfect for local theater.”

Cochran says two sites are under consideration, and he expects the venue’s location to be announced within a couple of months. He says Lansing is the only state capital in the country without this kind of facility.

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