Douglas County commissioners are being asked to pump money into two projects angling for community support: one for entertainment and another for traffic.
Wednesday afternoon, commissioners will consider two such items during their regular weekly meeting:
• A request from Theatre Lawrence for $100,000 — $20,000 a year for five years — to help finance construction of a new theater and education center in northwest Lawrence. Lawrence city commissioners last Tuesday night approved giving the organization $100,000.
• A partnership agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation and the city of Lawrence on a grant application to finance construction of an interchange along the South Lawrence Trafficway at Bob Billings Parkway, at the western edge of Lawrence. The state is asking the county to contribute $100,000, the same amount asked from the city.
Janis Bunker, co-chairwoman of Theatre Lawrence’s fundraising campaign, said that the county’s money would help the organization “secure a $1 million out-of-state challenge grant that will be lost if we do not reach our campaign goal by the end of September.” She described the organization as being in the “final stages” of its $6.2 million campaign.
The plan: Build a 300-seat theater in the Bauer Farms development, northeast of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive, south of Free State High School. The project would include classroom and office spaces and be considered “a great asset to Lawrence and the 400-plus volunteers who annually participate in our programs,” Bunker said, in a letter to commissioners.
The project would allow the 35-year-old organization to move out of its existing site, a former church at 1501 N.H.
The commission meets at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Mass.