ST. PAUL, VA – DECEMBER 23, 2020 An up to $100,000 grant to the Town of St. Paul Industrial Development Authority to be used on the Phase II redevelopment of the historic Lyric Theater in St. Paul was closed recently by the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA).

The grant, which was approved from VCEDA’s Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Fund program, will be used to finance building construction, rehabilitation and improvements as well as the purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment, and other improvements and costs associated with the renovation project.

“The Town of St. Paul and the Town of St. Paul IDA have previously identified the restoration of the historic Lyric Theater in downtown St. Paul as a key part of their revitalization and economic development plans,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “When the renovations are complete the IDA indicated one full-time job and four part-time jobs will be created within a three-year period.”

Once restored, the IDA noted in its application for the funding that the theater can be used for live theater performances such as those sponsored through ProArt and the Barter Theatre; for regional musical events in association with The Crooked Road; as a place to host conferences and events; and as performance, lecture and conference space for UVA-Wise’s programs at St. Paul. 

Phase I of the Lyric’s restoration included new windows and doors, exterior and substructure stabilization work and a new marquee. VCEDA also assisted in the Phase I construction of the project, approving a $40,000 grant in 2018 to help pay for the new marquee.

“Phase II construction will get the auditorium ready for the public to attend live theatre, live music and provide limited space for meetings,” the funding application noted. “The lobby will be completely renovated to offer an inviting space for guests.”

Phase II also includes all new mechanical, electrical and plumbing, HVAC, fire suppression, new bathrooms, new floors, ceilings, seating, lighting, new stage floor, safety and security and ADA access. 

A fall 2021 opening is projected.

“VCEDA has been our partner in not only this project, but other revitalization projects helping us move forward with our continued efforts to improve the town’s economic development,” said Bob Harrison, St. Paul IDA chairman.

Harrison also credited Kathy Stewart, St. Paul Main Street manager,  for her work to move the Lyric project forward.

About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. or