The Springfield Revitalization Corporation and the city of Springfield are rejoicing after being notified of winning a $10,000 grant to go toward improvements of the Mars Theater.
The city, applying on behalf of the SRC, will receive a Tourism Product Development grant from the state Department of Economic Development.
"We’re very happy," said Springfield City Manager Brett Bennett. "Any money we can get in these economic times helps."
This round of grant applications focused on job creation and sustainability in the hospitality industry. With $200,000 in grants to dispense, the state received 84 project applications, with requests in excess of $1.2 million.
The city submitted a grant request of $20,000 in September.
"I’m just absolutely delighted," said Gussie Nease of the SRC. "I wish it would have been the entire $20,000. But we’re glad to get the $10,000."
Once the city and the SRC receive proceeds, Nease and Bennett expect work to commence quickly.
"We should make a good amount of progress," Bennett said. "We can probably get most of the exterior completed."
Said Nease: "We’re going to get started right away."
The city will offer a $27,000 cash match and there will be $8,050 through in-kind contributions of services.
A panel of nine industry judges reviewed each application and submitted its recommendations.