An illustration shows the design of the Triumvirate Theatre’s proposed playhouse, via Kenai Planning Zoning commission packet.

An illustration shows the design of the Triumvirate Theatre’s proposed playhouse, via Kenai Planning Zoning commission packet.

Kenai OKs permit for new Triumvirate playhouse

The playhouse design describes a $4.7 million facility that is two stories with an audience capacity of 150 people

Triumvirate Theatre got the green light to build its new playhouse on land donated by the City of Kenai during a meeting of Kenai’s Planning & Zoning Commission on Wednesday night.

Commissioners voted unanimously to give the group a conditional use permit that will allow the group to put a performing arts center near the Kenai Walmart. Triumvirate has been working to build a new playhouse since its former building burned down in early 2021.

The permit approved Wednesday was requested by Triumvirate Theatre President Joe Rizzo.

Kenai Planning Director Linda Mitchell told commissioners Wednesday that the proposed structure meets all of the city’s criteria for issuance of a conditional use permit, which considers, among other things, whether or not the proposed use would affect the value of surrounding properties and whether or not the use would be harmful to public safety.

The playhouse design describes a $4.7 million facility that is two stories with an audience capacity of 150 people. There would be approximately 63 parking spots and one driveway access along Daubenspeck Circle near Beacon Occupational Health.

To date, Rizzo said Triumvirate has raised about $2.8 million for rebuilding efforts. Of that, $800,000 has come from local donors and small foundations, $1 million came from a Rasmuson Foundation grant and $1 million was secured by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2023.

Rizzo said project architects think the final building cost will be less than $4.7 million and that Triumvirate is still waiting to hear about some other funding opportunities, such as a $500,000 from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

“We’ll have to see, like, how all those things fall into place, but even right now with the money we have we can certainly build something,” Rizzo said.

Multiple commissioners expressed their support for Triumvirate’s rebuilding efforts during Wednesday’s meeting.

“We can see that you have a quality project here and that you’ve been very faithful in coming and explaining where you are with your project situation, the triumph you’ve had (and) the hurdles you’ve had to overcome,” said Commissioner Jim Glendening. “I know you’ve granted yourself a generous timeline and I think it’s realistic. Someday, front row center, I’ll be there.”

Wednesday’s meeting of the Kenai Planning & Zoning Commission can be streamed on the City of Kenai’s YouTube channel.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

Triumvirate Theatre President Joe Rizzo testifies before the Kenai Planning & Zoning Commission on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Triumvirate Theatre President Joe Rizzo testifies before the Kenai Planning & Zoning Commission on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

More in News

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Alexis Alamillo, of Anchorage, carries a sockeye salmon caught in a dipnet from the mouth of the Kenai River on Wednesday.
Kenai River dipnetting now open 24 hours a day

The liberalization of fishing regulation was effective starting Thursday evening

A drone rises into the air while kicking up dust, departing on a test flight for the use of beyond visual line of sight drone aircraft, at Furie Operating Alaska’s central processing facility in Nikiski, Alaska, on Wednesday, July 10, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Drone test flight operates beyond visual line of sight between Nikiski and a Cook Inlet platform

The drone could perform deliveries to and from Cook Inlet platforms

A map of Lower Skilak Campground shows the areas that will be closed in July and August 2024. (Graphic provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Areas of Lower Skilak Campground to close for repair starting Monday

The East Loop will be closed — projected to be reopened at noon on Aug. 4

Kenai Courthouse is photographed on Feb. 26, 2019, in Kenai, Alaska. (Clarion file)
Sterling resident sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexual abuse of minors

Additionally, Crane will face 15 years of supervised probation as well as sex offender registration and treatment

Shrubs grow outside of the Kenai Courthouse on Monday, July 3, 2023 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Former Soldotna police officer acquitted of 2023 assault allegations

He was found not guilty following a five-day trial in late June

A parade of cars and trucks flying flags in support of former President Donald Trump proceed down the Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai, Alaska, on Sunday, July 14, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Residents caravan across central peninsula in support of Trump

The parade came a day after an attempted assassination of the former president

Drummers perform during a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Dena’ina Wellness Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 12, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenaitze tribe celebrates 10 years of ‘far-fetched dream’ at wellness center

Community members recognized the work done at the Dena’ina Wellness Center over the past decade

The Kenai Safeway is seen on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai and Soldotna Safeways may be sold under proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger

The local stores will be sold to CS Wholesale Grocers only if the merger overcomes suit from the FTC

Sockeye salmon caught in a set gillnet are dragged up onto the beach at a test site for selective harvest setnet gear in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Draft plan published for disbursement of $11.5 million in 2021 and 2022 ESSN disasters

Public comment will be accepted for the draft spend plan until July 24

Most Read