Next door to KSJDs new radio broadcasting location at the intersection of Main and Market streets is a space that the radio station plans to turn into a small theater.
Jeff Pope, the executive director of the radio station, said when the renovations are complete it will be able to accommodate 120 people, 100 in the main seating area of the theater and another 20 in the balcony.
Pope said they reviewed Cortezs 2008 comprehensive plan that in part called for more activity in the downtown area.
People wanted a place to see live performances in small venues, he said.
However, to make this a reality, another $200,000 needs to be raised, which would bring the fundraising amount to $1.4 million.
If the rest of the fundraising comes through, Pope hopes to have the theater ready sometime in October, although the inside of the basement right now is in extremely poor condition.
Contractors last week were working near the stairs that lead to the baloney and the basement.
He said the high school has a larger venue for performances but there are times when the school cannot be used, and there are also instances when residents need or want a smaller venue.
We hope we are filling a need, he said, and added this theater could be used in conjunction with what the radio station offers.
KSJD is a media organization where we develop content all day long, Pope said. Its not a side thing. Its a certain part of what we do.
He said they are trying to create a hub of activity in the downtown area that in turn will help out other nearby businesses.
He said this project would need to involve a large group effort to open in October.
Pope said in order to get 120 seats into the venue they had to be economical and added the building meets the Americans with Disabilities Act as it is handicapped accessible.
In the basement, the plan is to build restrooms for men and women. He also said the basement would be a place for performers to rest during intermissions.
The basement would lead to the backstage stage.
He said he also would like to use Cortezs weather as a selling point to be a part of the sidewalk culture where residents would be able to see performers during intermissions.
Anyone who would like to contribute to the fundraiser for this project is asked to call 564-9727.
Michael Maresh can be reached at email@example.com