Hogansville denied ‘last leg’ grant for Royal Theater project, but city staff are still pushing for funding

Published 8:00 am Thursday, July 7, 2022

HOGANSVILLE – The city of Hogansville was recently denied a grant request from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs [DCA] ⁠— a major blow to the city’s hope to fund and begin the renovation of Hogansville’s historic Royal Theater. 

“It was very competitive,” Interim Hogansville City Manager Lisa Kelly said at the city’s Tuesday council meeting. “There were 50 applicants with some major projects. The funds to some very good projects, but unfortunately it just wasn’t us.”

Hogansville applied for a $750,000 in the form of an EDA grant in December and was approved for the grant earlier this year. The grant had the potential to bring the rehabilitation fund total to just over $2 million, the amount required to put the project out to bid. Hogansville held the bid opening for the construction manager at risk for the project Tuesday. Kelly said more details on this next step will be available at the city’s July 18 meeting. 

Hogansville currently has $1.2 million available for the Royal Theater restoration project from the Callaway Foundation the United States Department of Agriculture, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the 2013-2018 Royal Theater SPLOST fund and individual donations.

Hogansville Community Development Director Lynne Miller said the city was trying to work on a $2 million budget but rising construction cost forced the budget to increase.

Currently, approximately $2.7 million more is needed to fully fund the project.

“It just sends us on another leg of finding more funding,” Kelly said. “It’s not going to stop us.”

The bulk of the work on the theater will include stabilizing the building and demolishing certain parts. The EDA grant specifically covers restoring electrical, plumbing and lighting needs, and covers interior finishes, such as flooring and trim works.