Archive for Friday, July 1, 2005

Grant deadline passes for Lied Center expansion

Fate of project to be discussed in meetings today

July 1, 2005


Today marks the deadline for a challenge grant to expand the Lied Center, but officials with the Kansas University Endowment Assn. aren't saying whether the target was reached.

The Lied Foundation of Las Vegas said it would kick in $7.5 million for a new auditorium and other improvements at the performing arts center if KU could raise another $7.5 million by today.

"We have to take a look at our pledges, meet with the chancellor and talk to the donors and the Lied Foundation about the project to determine what the next step is before we can talk about it publicly," said Dale Seuferling, the Endowment Association's president.

That likely means KU didn't hit the $7.5 million mark. A month ago, the university had raised only $2 million toward the goal, half of which was from Ross and Marianna Kistler Beach of Lawrence.

KU officials have said previously that if they didn't reach the $7.5 million goal, they would re-evaluate the project to determine whether it would be feasible to proceed. The Lied Foundation, which donated $13 million to the existing Lied Center, has said it would donate $5 million to the expansion instead of $7.5 million if KU didn't meet the terms of the challenge grant.

Tim Van Leer, director of the Lied Center, did not return a phone message seeking comment Thursday.

The expansion would include an 800-seat auditorium to provide a more intimate setting for chamber music, lectures and School of Fine Arts performances than does the current 2,000-seat auditorium. It also would include a 9,000-square-foot art gallery, an outdoor sculpture garden and an education center for performers to have master classes.

Seuferling said he could have a better idea for the project's fate after meetings scheduled for today.


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