Restoration of Lyric Theatre marches on with plans for grand opening by year’s end

Lyric board co-chair Dub Wilson (left) talks with TexasBank representatives Janet Ogden (center) and Emily Hutson (right).

Representatives of TexasBank and the James and Dorothy Doss Foundation posed for photos with Lyric Performing Arts Company board members outside the Lyric Theatre Thursday.

After photos to commemorate donations totaling $80,000 to the restoration of the theatre, someone asked if it was safe to go inside the grand old theatre, where restoration work is under way.

It’s safe, Paul Waldrop of Waldrop Construction assured everyone. Waldrop, who was present for the photo as a representative of the TexasBank board, led the others inside for a look at the restoration.

Much work remains, and yes, there is scaffolding, ladders, lumber, metal and countless pieces of construction-related tools and equipment scattered across the unfinished floor.

But it’s no longer a shapeless and unrecognizable void.

The theatre has a shape, it has the beginnings of a stage and other components that will make it a theatre — a splendid working theatre.

“We’re very pleased at the way it’s coming along,” Lyric board member Bill King said. “Things are progressing the way they need to.”

Dates haven’t been finalized, but the theatre will likely have a grand opening sometime late in the year, King said.

The $80,000 donated by the bank and foundation is part of the funds raised toward a $500,000 matching gift. The match period ended May 31, and the total amount raised was about $512,000, King said.

That goal was surpassed, but fundraising is still going on so the restoration, estimated at a little more than $3 million, can be finished, King said.

“We’re close. We’re not quite there yet,” King said.