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  • Writer's pictureLisa N. Scheck

Protecting Our Theater: The Kansas Historical Society Awards $90,000 Grant to The Midland Theater

June 25, 2019 — The Midland Theater Foundation is thrilled to announce it has been selected as a recipient of The Heritage Trust Fund (HTF) grant for $90,000 in matching funds by The Kansas Historical Society.

“With current funds raised by our supporters and the matching funds of $90,000 awarded by The Heritage Trust Fund, we will be able to commence major construction efforts to ‘secure the shell’ of the historic Midland Theater,” said Darrel Harbaugh, Vice President of The Midland Theater Foundation.

The HTF grant is an 80/20 match for the project, meaning that the HTF will provide $90,000 as 80 percent of the project and 20 percent will need to be provided by The Midland Theater Foundation. The funds will go towards “securing the shell,” which is a project that preserves historical buildings by making them watertight. The plan includes masonry and roof repairs, repairing or replacing windows and doors from the exterior that currently have leaks that may be allowing liquid to seep into the building. By preventing further water damage, the foundation can preserve the existing historical structure from additional deterioration.

“This will give us an opportunity to save the integrity of this historical building,” said Jim Criswell, Board Member and Chair of the Foundation’s Construction Committee. “With so much rain recently, this is a necessity to secure the theater before water damage has the chance to decay the structure to the point where it is no longer salvageable.”

The Midland Theater Foundation applied for the HTF grant through the Coffeyville Area Community Foundation (CACF). The Midland Theater Foundation and CACF representatives attended the Heritage Trust Fund Grant orientation meeting at the Kansas Historical Society Campus in Topeka on June, 13, 2019. The purpose of the orientation was for recipients to gain more knowledge of the standards and regulations pertaining to the project. The process of letting bids for the project will begin within the next few weeks with the hopes of securing a contractor to begin construction by late summer with completion of the project by late fall 2019.

“We are extremely grateful for the funding opportunity provided by The Kansas Historical Society—allowing us to make significant progress in restoring this building,” said Haylie Bagwell, President of The Midland Theater Foundation. “This grant further proves our site is worthy of attention and support. We will continue fighting to restore and rebuild our beautiful theater and event center, including aggressively pursuing additional funds through foundation grants, tax credits, private donors, crowdfunding, and more.”


HTF is a state program that provides matching funds for the preservation of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places or the Register of Historic Kansas Places. The HTF reimburses expenses for projects that preserve or restore historic properties. Qualifying expenses include professional fees and construction costs. Individual grant awards may not exceed $90,000 and must be matched by the grant recipient. Yearly grant rounds are highly competitive. Applications for the 2019 grant round were due November 1, 2018, and awards were announced May 4, 2019. Twelve awards totaling $794,673 in proposed funding were granted.

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