$2.5M John Legend Theater in Ohio district nears completion


SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) — A school district is nearing completion on its newly renovated John Legend Theater, and officials are trying to determine how it will be shared with the community.

Legend donated $500,000 for the project. The Oscar- and Grammy-winning artist is a graduate of the Springfield School District.

The Springfield News-Sun reports (http://bit.ly/1PQgnvX ) meeting rooms have been made available to community groups since last summer’s opening of the Springfield Center of Innovation: The Dome.

But the district will begin charging for their use as well as the use of the theater inside once renovations are complete.

The $2.5 million project is expected to be finished by Sept 1.

Superintendent Bob Hill said school officials are working to find the right balance between the cost of operating the theater and what users can afford to pay.

School groups in the district will be able to use the venue for free. Organizations presenting programs that align with the educational mission will be charged one set price, and for-profit groups will pay a different price, said Kim Fish, director of communications.

“I think we all see this as a local venue that currently does not exist in Springfield that will offer new and expanded opportunities for our students and community’s art, theatre and music groups,” said board president Ed Leventhal.

Legend, 37, won an Oscar and a Golden Globe partnering with Common on the song “Glory” for the film “Selma.” He has also won multiple Grammys.

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Information from: Springfield News-Sun, http://www.springfieldnewssun.com

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