Rehabilitation of the Kechi Playhouse
The City of Kechi has applied for a $250,000 Community Development Block grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce to rehabilitate the property located at 100 E. Kechi Road “The Kechi Playhouse”. The purpose of the Small Cities Community Development Block grant program is to help cities improve the quality of their downtown commercial districts by assisting private property owners with the rehabilitation of blighted buildings. To receive the maximum award, the property owner must provide a 25% ($83,333) cash match. In 2018, the Kechi Arts Council sponsored a fundraising campaign to assist the property owner in securing the cash match and was successful in raising more $83,333. The Kechi Arts Council has since provided a letter to the City committing to the $83,333 cash match if the City is awarded the grant.
In addition to the fundraising campaign, other steps have been completed as required by the grant guidelines:
- On April 30, 2018 an asbestos inspection was conducted by ACM Removal-Kansas, LLC, a report was later provided to the City
- On May 24, 2018 the City Council approved Resolution 18-680 declaring the property blighted
- On August 9, 2018 the City Council authorized hiring WDM Architects, P.A. to complete a preliminary architect’s report
- On August 30, 2018 WDM Architects, P.A. completed the preliminary architect’s report and submitted copies to the property owner and the City
- On September 19, 2018 South Central Kansas Economic Development District (SCKEDD) agreed to serve as grant writer for the City of Kechi
- On October 24, 2018 a business and building reuse plan was completed and added to the grant application
- On November 22, 2018 a public hearing notice was published in the Ark Valley News notifying the public of the project and requesting comments
Planned improvements total $296,200. The project has been divided into two phases. Phase 1 will address structural and code issues and will be paid by CDBG funds, the Kechi Arts Council cash match, and the property owner’s personal match. Phase 2 will address interior issues and will be paid completely by the property owner.
Based on the preliminary architect’s report Phase 1 will address:
- Structural issues: damaged and deteriorated trusses, fallen bricks and stability of the West wall, tuck pointing and replacing missing bricks, header beams at corners of turrets, and cracks in the foundation
- Code issues: roofing repairs on East side, repair of wood frames and window replacement, repair and replacement of facias and soffits, replacement of wood frieze boards, trim, and wood bottoms of front columns, replacement of gutters and downspouts, replacement of missing flue caps, replacement of the West door under the entry stair, and replacement and installation of a handrail on the entry stair
Based on the preliminary architect’s report Phase 2 will address:
- Interior issues: holes in interior ceiling plaster
At a special meeting on held on November 29, 2018 the Kechi City Council passed Resolution 18-690 authorizing city staff to submit an application for 2018 CDBG funding.
On December 21, 2018, the City received notification the 2018 application for funding was denied but was encouraged to reapply for 2019 funding.
On January 10, 2019, the Kechi City Council passed Resolution 19-692 authorizing city staff to resubmit the application for 2019 CDBG funding. The timeline for the project remained unchanged from the City's first application.
On February 12, 2019, the Kansas Department of Commerce requested a site visit. Staff from the Kansas Department of Commerce toured the building on March 4, 2019.
On March 14, 2019, the City was notified the Kechi Playhouse has been awarded the full $250,000 grant.
On May 2, 2019, the contract for construction was advertised for bids on the City website and in the Ark Valley News.
On May 30, 2019 a bid opening was held at Kechi City Hall. Two bids were received.
On June 13, 2019 the Kechi City Council awarded the construction contract to Compton Construction, LLC in Wichita. Due to heavy rains in the region, many construction projects have been delayed. Construction to rehabilitate the Kechi Playhouse is scheduled to begin in mid-August 2019.