Future Academy of Children’s Theatre shows will be staged at the Windermere Children’s Theatre.
The Richland real estate company stepped up as ACT’s new theater naming sponsor with a $350,000 donation.
Windermere Group One’s donation was announced during a Sept. 20 fundraiser luncheon at CG Public House & Catering in Kennewick.
Jeff Thompson, owner of Windermere Group One, said supporting the theater project aligns with Windermere’s core values of care and community. He said ACT provides opportunities to educate children and provides them with experiences to be future leaders. He said children need a place to stretch in a safe environment and allow their personalities to blossom and ACT helps with this.
“It really takes a village,” he said. "This organization has a fantastic village.”
Construction of the $1.5 million project will take place over three years.
Along with naming rights, Columbia Center mall donated 400 seats, valued at $150,000, that were used by Regal 8 Cinemas, which closed this summer.
About 100 of the donated seats will be used in the new black box studio theater, a simple performance space used for smaller productions.
“We’re thrilled they can be repurposed … and look forward to the day we can sit in them,” said Barbara Johnson, manager of Columbia Center mall.
Peter Lampson of Lampson International in Kennewick agreed to donate space to store the seats until they can be installed.
Construction of the 300-seat theatre is underway, with occupancy planned by 2020.
It will include professional sound and light booth, costume and set storage, lobby, green room with dual classroom function, two classrooms, studio for private lessons, ticket booth, scene shop and restrooms.
ACT officials expect the first phase to be completed in time to host the nonprofit’s Heart for the Arts fundraiser, held annually in February.
The new theater will be behind the existing ACT facility at 213 Wellsian Way in Richland.
MH Construction of Kennewick is the general contractor for the project.
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