The Twilight Theatre will pursue a loan plan to fund completion of its yet-to-be completed building on Main Street.
The board of directors and a small group of members unanimously approved the plan during last Thursday night’s annual meeting at the United Methodist Church in Greensburg.
Twilight Theatre treasurer Nizar Kibar said that a new bid by Key Construction puts the cost of completion at about $1.2 million.
Kibar said the theater has about $55,000 in its bank account from donations, a scrap metal reclamation project, memberships and small fundraising projects.
They raised about $40,000 from the consignment auction in August and about $20,000 from the sale of memorial seats.
Construction Supervisor Gary Goodman presented the membership with four funding options; to continue raising money and seeking grant funding, to take out a loan, to dissolve the non-profit Twilight Theatre 401(c)3 and move into private ownership or attempt to sell naming rights.
Goodman and a number of members expressed concern that a delay in completion would result in higher construction costs and while small fundraising efforts were beneficial, it would take an estimated 16 years to finish based on funds raised in 2012.
Goodman said that the Key Construction bid would be good until the end of January. If construction began after January, it is likely Key Construction would re-bid.
According to Goodman the newest bid ($1,242,000) was a nearly 13 percent increase over the initial $1,102,000 bid, accounting for increases in material and labor costs.
“No one saves up money and pays the full amount when they build a new house,” said USD 422 Superintendent Darren Headrick,” If they [paid all of the upfront costs], no one would have a one. Most people borrow.”
Centera Bank Branch President Steve Kirk said that like any other loan, it would require a single guarantor or multiple guarantors each responsible for a share, to make a loan proposal attractive to lenders. He said that it would be possible to break up a single loan into lots of guarantors, so long as each met financial standards.
One concern was that a $10,000-$12,000 monthly loan payment would cripple theater operations and would be unsustainable, especially since ticket sales and revenue are difficult to project.
Headrick proposed a possible “sponsorship” plan, which would divide annual loan payments into a monthly contribution by county stakeholders. He suggested that the board find entities to “sponsor” one monthly loan payment.
He said that the school board might consider sponsoring at least one month and perhaps more since it would use the facility often.
The Twilight Theatre will serve as the theater and auditorium for USD 422 students.
Page 2 of 2 - There were a number of individuals at the meeting who expressed an interest in a possible “sponsorship.”
The board announced a special meeting to be held on Monday night to further discusses the plan.