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New scene at Guthrie as Minnesota OKs funding

Construction slated for completion in 2005

The Guthrie’s new joint is a go.

On Thursday, the Minnesota Legislature approved $25 million in general obligation capital bonds for the construction of the Guthrie Theater’s new $125 million complex. The facility will be built on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis. Appropriation is part of a $237 million capital investment bill that is expected to be signed by Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty next week.

Previous attempts to secure state funding for the Guthrie project were thwarted by former Gov. Jesse Ventura, who vetoed two previous appropriations.

Construction can begin late this summer on the complex of three theaters, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. It is slated for completion in 2005.

The Guthrie’s board of directors still has to close a gap of $10 million. The theater had requested $35 million from the state. It has raised $64.5 million toward a goal of $75 million in private contributions.

After a long, hard-won battle against Ventura, Guthrie artistic director Joe Dowling greeted the news with glee: “To say we are overjoyed is an understatement.”

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