Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Centre Theater Proposal Adds Building, Tunnel Extensions

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Centre Theater Proposal Adds Building, Tunnel Extensions

Article excerpt

A 40-foot extension of the old Centre Theater building and an extension of the Metro Conncourse tunnel have been added to a proposal to turn the building into a performing arts center, the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority was told Wednesday.

- The theater would be extended to the east to provide more room for the stage and about 200 added seats, said Jess W. Matheny, general manager of the Oklahoma City Industrial and Cultural Facilities Trust, which has preliminary approval from the authority to redevelop the building for the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra.

The expansion would be along the 100-foot east side of the building, using about 4,000-square feet of land. The theater currently has about 1,600 seats.

- The Conncourse would be extended in an L-shape from the southeast corner of Harvey and Robert S. Kerr avenues along the north side of the theater building to the end of the expansion, then south to Couch Drive.

The Conncourse would be available for a connection with an office building proposed by James. W. Hoyt and R.W. Finley for the area east of the theater extension. Hoyt and Finley have preliminary approval to develop a four-or-five story building in that area for about $3.5 million as part of the theater proposal.

As a result, the renovated theater and the Hoyt-Finley building would be connected by the Conncourse to the Metro Parking Garage on the northeast corner of Harvey and Kerr, as well as the rest of the downtown Conncourse system.

An L-shaped extension of the tunnel, from the Metro Garage under Harvey to the east, and then under Kerr to the Centre Theater block, was completed in 1983, but has never been used. It would be connected to the new proposed extension.

"About $500,000 is available from the Metro Garage funds for the extension of the Conncourse," said Matheny. "However, the extension would require approval of the Bank of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Gas andElectric Co. …

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