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After an eight-month delay, the Lompoc Theatre plan appears to be back on track after the Lompoc Oversight Board voted Tuesday to sell the deed to a nonprofit group for $1.

“Last time proved to be that it wasn’t the end of the road,” said Mark Herrier, board president of the Lompoc Theatre Project Corporation. “This time seems different. It seems now that it’s finally over.”

The delay occurred because the oversight board had proposed that the Lompoc Housing Community Development Corporation, known as LHCDC, sell the deed to the LTPC. It was later brought to light that such a transaction could not be possible because the LHCDC was a corporation in a suspended status.

Tuesday’s vote allowed the oversight board to sell the deed to the LTPC immediately. The vote means the nonprofit group could have keys to the building by the end of the year, Herrier said.

“Hopefully in a few months.”

Once the nonprofit has the keys, restoration efforts will begin, Herrier said.

“The amount of time it would take if we had all the money in the bank would be estimated at around a year and a half. But we would start before we have all the money in the bank so we will start the minute we have the keys.”

To raise money, Herrier hopes for a robust fundraising campaign.

“I think once the community and once potential donors sees that this time it’s different and the money is actually going into the theater, I think that will change the final negative attitudes and it will hopefully be all downhill from there.”

Jenelle Osborne, chair of the economic development committee, said she supported restoration efforts because it would increase property values, and revitalize downtown Lompoc, which would lead to increased tax revenues.

“The EDC trusts that the Lompoc Theatre plan nonprofit is focused on delivering diverse art, culture and entertainment and led by a very passionate and effective board whose only focus is the restoration and future success of the theater unlike LHCDC,” she said.

The new theater will feature a number of new amenities, including dressing rooms, a scene dock, a green room and a multipurpose room capable of housing rehearsals, banquets and corporate events.

There will also be a space for a VIP room on the lower level. In addition, there will be efforts to renovate the façade and the marquee.

For more information on the LTPC and its efforts, visit lompoctheatre.org.

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Kenny Lindberg covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter.  

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