Astra to receive $400,000 historical preservation grant

Sourced from Dubois County Free Press

Through a partnership with the City of Jasper, the Astra Theatre will soon receive $400,000 from the state for historical preservation.

Thursday, the City of Jasper was awarded $400,000 for the theater from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs as part of the Community Development Block Grant program.

Next Act, the owner of the building, will use the money for renovations to the building’s heating and cooling system, electrical wiring and exterior, such as the windows, doors and roof.

The Astra was built in 1935 and operated as a theatre until it closed in 2002. In 2014, The Next Act Inc. formed to purchase and renovate the theatre to be reopened as a venue for entertainment in Downtown Jasper. The group began the fundraising process to create an endowment and purchase the facility. They first goal of $465,000 was in November last year.

The second campaign to support renovating and refurbishing the venue began immediately afterward. Three months ago, the group partnered with the city to apply for the grant to support the historical preservation of the building.

Age and non-use of the theater has taken its toll on the building and immediate attention to address widespread deterioration of this prominent historic structure is needed. This project will include all aspects of rehabilitating, repairing, replacing, installing, etc. and will adhere to the U.S. Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitating Historic Structures.