Le Mars Community Theatre's ongoing Postal Playhouse renovation program got a boost Tuesday from the Le Mars City Council.
Members approved the theatre's request for $22,447 to come from the Local Option Sales Tax funds along with $3,500 in-kind work by the public works department. Additional assistance, in the form of street lighting, is to be provided through the street light budget.
The theatre's Danna Schuster explained to the council that an earlier feasibility study showed moving the theatre to a new building was "too costly and too consuming." The theatre group decided to instead enhance Postal Playhouse.
Schuster called this plan "more economically feasible" while still allowing for addition of a handicapped accessible ramp and entrance and added restroom facilities along with repair of the costume shop/green room area of the playhouse. Also included in the renovation, Schuster said, was the placing of a new "aesthetically pleasing" garage on the northeast corner of the playhouse for storage and work space facilities, replacing the present trailer at the site. The total project, she said, is estimated to cost $80,000.
Le Mars City Administrator Scott Langel pointed out to the council during the discussion that the playhouse site is actually owned by the city through the Federal Lands Program and the city is in part responsible for some of the projected improvements. Council members and Mayor Dick Kirchoff noted, meanwhile, the theatre's importance in the community's cultural picture.