Licking County News

$200K state grant will be used for Sterling Theater


Pataskala officials learned last week the city is set to receive a $200,000 grant from the state capital bill to improve the Sterling Theater.

"They said they will release the funds in 120 days," said Mayor Mike Compton.

The city applied for the grant to install restrooms and an elevator in the 97-year-old building at 430 Main St. The Pataskala Division of Police is based on the first and second floors and the theater is on the third floor.

Constructed in 1916, the building initially was used as a municipal building and still is owned by the city.

City Council voted unanimously Dec. 16 to spend up to $8,500 to employ an architect to design public restrooms and placement of an elevator.

The study was completed by Dave Pontia of Pontia Architecture in New Albany, who recommended an elevator shaft be built on the northwest side of the building and restrooms be installed in the basement, at ground level.

Pontia Architecture has estimated it could cost $300,000 to install the elevator and restrooms.

Compton said the theater board would like to add air conditioning, which could add an estimated $70,000 to the project.

Compton said the city and theater board need to start raising funds to complete the project.

Pataskala City Council on April 21 reviewed Pontia Architecture's plans. Compton said the project now needs to be reviewed by a City Council committee.

Compton said he was thankful to everyone who helped the city receive the grant, mentioning former mayor Steve Butcher, who encouraged the city to apply for the grant.