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Crump seeking aid for future

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City officials will be asked to hire a former Columbus resident to create a business plan for the historic Crump Theatre.

The Crump steering committee is recommending that the Columbus Redevelopment Commission hire Danielle McClelland, director of the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre in Bloomington, to create the business plan.

She is a former program director for the Columbus Area Arts Council.

McClelland would be paid $18,000 to put together a three-year or five-year business plan, depending on what the redevelopment commission wants, said Jayne Farber, former Crump steering committee chairwoman.

Although Farber no longer is on the steering committee, she was involved in selecting a consultant to nominate for the job.

The business plan will identify revenue streams, expenses, management, ownership, operational structure, job descriptions of staff and director and three- to five-year projections for the theater, among other things, Farber said.

“The turnaround time to complete the plan is suggested to be 60 days,” she said.

Committee member Bob Crider will take more of a leadership role in the Crump project with Farber’s recent retirement, Mayor Kristen Brown said.

“Bob Crider is handling the business plan side of things, working with the consultant and the Crump steering committee,” Brown said.

If the consultant is hired at Monday’s meeting, Crider will handle the project from the city’s end, Brown said.

“That will be all we need for the council to make a go or no-go decision” about renovating the Crump, Brown said.

In June, city council members discussed paying for Crump renovations, saying they wouldn’t be comfortable with allocating millions in taxpayer dollars for a project without having a business plan and identified private investors.

The Crump steering committee has selected a plan to renovate the historic theater that would cost about $10.8 million and recommended it to the redevelopment commission in May.

The plan calls for a 450-seat renovated theater with an expanded lobby, new handicap-accessible public restrooms and dressing rooms, greater stage depth, an improved show load-in area and better acoustics. The 125-year-old Crump Theatre has 632 seats now.

The plan was selected out of five scenarios from a feasibility study conducted by Lafayette-based theater consulting firm Jones & Phillips Associates.

The firm was hired by the city in June 2013 for $95,520 to evaluate the theater and suggest possible future uses.

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