The Strand Theatre is a step closer to beginning renovations.

The Strand Theatre is a step closer to beginning renovations.

About $150,000 from Delaware County will go toward making entrances and bathrooms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The city of Delaware is also putting $50,000 toward improvements to the faade. The first priority will be the entrances and the restrooms, county economic development director Gus Comstock said. Any leftover funds will go toward making the seating ADA compliant.

Funding has come from the Community Development Block Grant revolving loan fund.

The county first must go through a federal funding approval process along with the bidding process for construction, however. Comstock said it would take five to six months before construction starts.

The renovation is part of a larger plan for the Strand. Members of the nonprofit Strand Theatre and Cultural Arts Association want the 91-year-old theatre, at 28 E. Winter St., to be at the center of a downtown cultural art district.

An environmental assessment is necessary for the ADA project to move forward. Comstock said the assessment and the cost to hire an architect to conduct the studies will be about $20,000, or about 10 percent of the project's total cost.

The architect would be employed for about a year. It will take two to three months to complete the environmental study process and create the proposal. The architect would prepare the bidding specifications for the county to award, manage the selected contractor and review the results.

In the next two to three months, Ohio Wesleyan University and the county will select an architect to do the review, Comstock said. The county doesn't have to put the project up for bid since it's under $25,000. It will take the architect about four to six weeks to complete the review process.

The renovation could be finished in three to four months.

All together, the project will take less than a year to complete.

David Robbins, Strand Theatre and Cultural Arts Association board member, said he is excited about the renovation. The board will develop a strategic plan for short- and long-term projects, he said. The goal is to make the theatre more accessible.

"We'd love to do everything all at once," Robbins said.

The Strand needs new carpeting and an upgrade of the interior. Some curtains on the sides of the theater are torn, Robbins said.

"We want to restore it as a historic theatre," he said.

The Strand operates as a first-run movie theatre and is open every day. Robbins said it's doing very well.

"It's rather impressive," he said.

Along with the theater, the headquarters of the Central Ohio Symphony and the City Art Center also make their home within the area, Robbins said. The center also manages the building next door to the facility. Different events are hosted upstairs, like Battle of the Bands, a program hosted by the Delaware County Area Career Center.

The board is looking into donating space to other nonprofits, Robbins said.

"Our interest is in supporting the arts of the community which are non profit," he said.

In addition to developing a strategic plan for the theater, the board is also putting together a business plan for the center as a whole.

The plan would look at the long-term use of the space owned by the Strand.