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Archive for Tuesday, January 22, 1991

CENTRON OWNER

January 22, 1991

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Although Kansas University has received approval to accept a donation to finance the purchase of building that houses Centron Corp., the building's owner said they have not yet reached an agreement.

"There have been talks. There is no purchase contract," said Bob Kohl, president of Centron, a video and film production company which is at 1921 W. Ninth. "We are not that far along."

Last week, KU Chancellor Gene Budig received approval from the Kansas Board of Regents for the KU Endowment Association to buy the two-story Centron building and donate it to the university.

KUEA received a donation last month to pay for the building and 1.75 acres, which has been appraised at $640,000.

Todd Seymour, president of the KUEA, said Monday that university officials, rather than the KUEA, were involved in purchase negotiations.

"WE'VE GOT a few hoops to jump through," Seymour said. "It's just kind of getting all the ducks in a row."

Del Shankel, KU's interim executive vice chancellor, said negotiations are continuing and are at a "delicate" stage.

"We haven't signed the contract yet, but I think we have solid commitments," Shankel said.

Shankel said the KU theater and film department would move from Joliffe Hall, which is in bad shape physically, to the Centron building, which contains two film studios.

Shankel said the deal also would allow studio classes conducted at the old First National Bank at Eighth and Massachusetts to be moved to the Centron building.

Kohl said the Centron building has been for sale for about 10 years.

"We use varying amounts of it for varying times as our production needs come along. Part of it is rented," Kohl said.

He said he had not made a decision about relocating the business.

KOHL HAS owned the company for about six years. It was founded in Lawrence in the late 1940s.

Kohl said the building encompasses about 18,000 square feet and has one of the largest sound stages in the area.

Centron now is involved mostly in education- and business-related video production.

The company's facilities often are rented to video and film production crews from the Kansas City and Topeka areas and from Hollywood, he said.

Some sequences from the Michael Landon television movie, "Where Pigeons Go to Die," were shot in the building, as well as television commercials and music videos.

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