As has been proved in one American city after another, the greatest driver of downtown revitalization is the restoration of a downtown historic theatre. The League of Historic American Theatres (LHAT), working with Americans for the Arts, has calculated the economic impact of a downtown historic theatre in a city the size of Topeka. Specifically, 65 full-time equivalent jobs will be created; household income will increase by $1,400,000 annually, and total new expenditures with amount $1,900,000 yearly.
But, there is more to like than money. The Jayhawk Theatre, once all its components are completed, will offer a customer - and artist - oriented facility of sophistication, beauty, advanced technology, comfort and adaptability.
The Jayhawk board has assembled a true A-team to accomplish this. Project architect and Topekan Vance Kelley is one of the U.S.’s premier historic architects. Kelley oversaw the 14-year rehabilitation of the Kansas Statehouse, among many other projects. General contractor, Eby Construction of Wichita, has extensive experience in the rehabilitation of historic theaters, and Schuler Shook, theatre consultants, are the best in the nation.
As far as programming is concerned, the Jayhawk will present a creative mix of live performances and films. “Let’s see what’s playing at the Jayhawk,” will once again become a rallying cry for the people of Topeka and surrounding communities.