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Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater plans building expansion in 2018

December 5, 2017

Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater plans building expansion in 2018

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio – Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater, the city’s community theater, is preparing for an expansion in 2018.

The theater, on the City Hall campus off Broadview Road, plans to add 3,200 square feet to its 7,371-square-foot building. The city, which owns the building and leases it to Spotlights, will loan the theater money to pay for the expansion.

“We came up with a conservative (project) estimate of $128,000, for the purpose of discussion with Spotlights and City Council,” David Schroedel, the city’s director of public service and development, told cleveland.com in an email. “I expect the final number to come in below that.

“We will basically be providing Spotlights with a shell and they will build out the inside,” Schroedel said.

Schroedel said Spotlights has agreed to contribute $15,000 upfront toward the expansion and repay the remaining cost over 10-15 years. The theater now pays the city $1 a year in rent and another $7,000 a year for capital improvements and utilities.

The city has hired Stephen Suhayda, a Broadview Heights architect, to design the addition for $5,800.

Adam Bowers, Spotlights president, said the theater will launch a fundraising campaign so it can repay the city and equip the building addition with lights, sound boards, staging, curtains and seats.

Bowers said the additional space will allow larger stage productions, events and educational forums, and will help the theater expand its mission, although details haven’t been finalized.

“I and the rest of the Board of Trustees truly believe that we are more than just a theater,” Bowers told cleveland.com in an email. “We are a community ourselves, and support the local community, offering a home for creativity and arts.

“We want to break out of the mold that we just offer onstage experiences,” Bowers said. “We have hosted several successful events in the past, such as the Broadview Heights Home Days beer garden, and our theater camps. But there’s even more to Spotlights that we are currently planning.”

Bowers said construction is scheduled to start in spring 2018, perhaps in April, to coincide with Spotlights’ 20th anniversary. The theater was founded in June 2018.

The building that is now Spotlights Theater was constructed in 1972. Originally it was a group home on the campus of the former Broadview Developmental Center, a psychiatric hospital.

Spotlights stages classic shows like “And Then There Were None” and “The Importance of Being Earnest,” but Bowers said the theater wants to increase its offerings. For example, Spotlights is planning an expanded 2018 season that will include productions for younger audiences.

“We want to be known as a theater that offers quality, innovative productions, with each season having something for everyone,” Bowers said.