Theatre Cedar Rapids expects to be home within a year - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Theatre Cedar Rapids expects to be home within a year

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by Bryan Goettel

Cedar Rapids (KWWL) - To Theatre Cedar Rapids managing director Casey Prince, returning to the Iowa Theater Building after the flood has been nothing short of an all-consuming mission. He grew up on the TCR stage. In fact, he met and married his wife on it.

"It's much more than a job.," said Prince. "And if that weren't the case for our staff and our volunteers, I don't know if we'd have the exciting news to share today that we do."

The news: Theatre Cedar Rapids expects to re-open its doors within a year.

"We were in a unique situation where we had plans, we had contractors, we had money that we had already been raising," said Prince.

Before the flood, the theatre had already raised more than two million dollars for planned improvements. Without that money, the theatre would be as Prince puts it, in a completely different boat.

"We would really be looking at do we just rebuild what we had?" said TCR Board President Pat Deignan.

FEMA is expected to foot the bill for the cost of bringing the building back to pre-flood conditions. Add in a matching grant from the Hall-Perrine foundation, and ninety percent of the needed funds are in place.

"We are in a unique position that we were ramped up and we are able to hit the ground running here so we would like to be a catalyst for downtown," said Deignan.

The theatre is turning to the community to raise the last three quarters of a million dollars. If they don't get all of it, Prince says some components can be phased in later. What matters most to him is simply coming back.

"We get to go home," Prince said. "And we now know when we have our ticket."

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

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