The Lompoc Theatre Project organization unveiled its conceptual renderings to a cheerful crowd Friday in a fundraiser at Montemar Wines.
The new theater will feature a number of new amenities, which all will be made possible by moving the old tack shed from the rear of the theater to the north side.
That will create space where plans call for a new structure, which will include dressing rooms, a scene dock, a green room and a multipurpose room capable of hosting rehearsals, banquets and corporate events.
There will also be space for a VIP room on the lower level near the tack shed. In addition, there will be efforts to renovate the facade and the marquee.
“I think, as always, one of the most exciting things I think any of us could do on the planet is reuse what we have, so I think we are lucky here because the Lompoc Theatre is such a sturdy building that it’s still standing and is in good shape structurally,” said principal designer Michael Ferguson, who represents Theatre Projects Consultants.
Mark Herrier, the Lompoc Theatre Project’s board president, said his nonprofit organization needs roughly $6 million to finance everything.
“We could do it for less than that,” Herrier said. “But I mean we were saying initially $5 million, but with contingencies and stuff and these plans we're going to want, they’re inspiring, so yeah, we’re saying (roughly) 6 million.”
Herrier said the bulk of the money will not come from private donors.
“We will be asking for a lot more money for naming rights and such as that going forward,” he said. “So that’s where the real money is coming from. I just want the community to have a little skin in the game and get the honor and the benefit of that.”
Herrier also said he doesn’t foresee any major hurdles getting the plans past the city.
“The city has indicated that they will do everything they can to make this and to expedite this and to make this as inexpensive on that regulation part of it as they possibly can,” he said. “Everyone understands that the town needs this. This is good for the town, and everyone wants this to happen.”
But the organization has faced some hurdles in acquiring the building, as they do not yet own it. That is something Herrier said he hopes will be resolved within six months.
If everything goes according to plan, Herrier said, he thinks the theater could open by 2017.
Lompoc Mayor Bob Lingl was in attendance and said he is excited about the project.
“It will become the center spot where we can build the rest of the town around,” Lingl said. “That’s why I am excited about this project.