BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - After seven years, the final phases of construction on the Queen can begin. The Downtown Bryan Association says they just made a huge step toward finishing the revitalization of the Queen Theater.
Ben Hardeman moved to Bryan when he was just one-year-old. He is now the treasurer for the Downtown Bryan Association, and says he has seen the Queen during many of her different phases.
"We're very pleased that finishing the Queen is now in sight. Possibly within 2017, but certainly within the next 12 months, we anticipate completion of the project, and getting it open to the public, and having a big party,” said Hardeman.
The news comes after the association received approval for a construction loan with a cap of $500,000. Association officials say the remaining construction could cost more than that.
"We don't think the loan will be 100 percent of what we need, but it will let us move forward, and demonstrate to the community that we are going to get this project finished, and get on down the road to get the building back in service to the City of Bryan,” said Hardeman.
The association will eventually have to pay back that money. Members say they will still need help from the community in order to do that.
"We are going to be very active in the next 12 months to raise money through donations and in-kind donations so that we can finish the project and have a minimal debt when we do finish," said Hardeman.
Hardeman says this revitalization effort is one he feels exceptionally proud to be a part of. Representatives say it will be operated as a non-profit business, run by the Downtown Bryan Association.
"In my thought, Downtown Bryan would never be complete without the Queen being restored and back in service. We're just so excited about being able to move forward on a more progressive basis,” said Hardeman.
If you would like to donate time, money, or resources to help finish the Queen, you can call the Downtown Bryan Association at (979) 822-4920.