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Kitchener’s Centre in the Square getting upgrades to make venue more accessible

The City of Kitchener flag outside of city hall. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

Kitchener’s Centre in the Square is getting an upgrade as the city announced two renovations to make the over 40-year-old theatre more accessible.

One of the projects will see work completed on the theatre’s washrooms, which will include updating the fixtures, plumbing, ventilation and electrical components while also adding automatic door openers and handrails.

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The other will see the theatre’s close to 1,900 seats replaced and reconfigured to allow for more accessible seating with better access to the lobby.

At the same time, the city says the lifts which were being used to removed and store theatre seats in the orchestra pit will also be replaced or refurbished.

“As audiences anxiously await a post-pandemic return to live performances, this funding will not only assist in modernizing this beloved facility, but it will also greatly improve accessibility, and sustainability through a reduction in water use, and decreased ongoing maintenance costs,” Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic stated.

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The feds have kicked in $1.7 million to get these projects complete while the province is ponying up $1.4 million. Another $800,000 will come from the city while the venue is also chilling in $360,000.

The city says close to 150,000 people would visit the theatre on a yearly basis before COVID-19.

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