Governor's Office for Local Development
Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Governor’s Office for Local Development announce Renaissance on Main funding for Horse Cave project

Press Release Date:  Thursday, November 17, 2005  
Contact Information:  Samantha Cook
Public Information Officer

             Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) announced today $150,000 in funding for the renovation of the old Horse Cave State Bank Building. The new funding comes from the recently-revamped Renaissance on Main program.

            The new Renaissance on Main grant will be used in conjunction with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars to renovate 4,928 square feet on two floors. The work includes replacement of the roof and electrical system and the repair of walls, ceilings and windows.

            “The Renaissance on Main program breathes new life into Kentucky’s historic downtowns,” said Governor Fletcher. “I’m pleased to announce this funding for the first time in my administration.

Horse Cave is well known for its repertory theatre, bringing in tourist dollars to the community and state. This grant will allow the Horse Cave program to attract and keep actors who perform in the theatre by offering additional housing options,” added Governor Fletcher.

The newly-renovated building, owned by the Kentucky Repertory Theatre Education Arts Center, will be used to provide housing for theatre professionals and meeting space for the community. The theatre is the city’s largest downtown employer, employing about 60 persons for eight months or more during the year. Each

year, the theatre spends approximately $40,000 in housing expenses to place about half of these individuals in local housing.

Employees that do not find local housing must commute from outside the city. As a result, many professionals decline job offers because of a lack of transportation and living quarters.

With the renovations, the theatre hopes to rectify this problem.

Senator Carroll Gibson said the theatre has been providing professional performances to the region for more than 27 years. “The theatre is one of the few remaining repertory theatres in the country and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This funding will assist a flourishing business in continuing the success it has built over the past couple of decades.

Representative Terry Shelton said this project is an economic development opportunity for the community. “The repertory theatre brings in visitors from all over the state and even the country. The more we can support the theatre’s endeavors and assist in their success, the more opportunity the entire community has to grow and prosper.”

Renaissance on Main, formerly Renaissance Kentucky, is a downtown revitalization effort that provides communities funding in order to restore and maintain their downtown areas.  The program is focused on economic development and job creation. 

The Renaissance on Main program partners with the Kentucky Heritage Council/Main Street Program, the Kentucky Department of Tourism, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the Kentucky League of Cities, the Kentucky Housing Corporation, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati and the Governor’s Office for Local Development, the agency responsible for administering the program.