The Keil Opera House, located in St. Louis, Missouri, has been unused for the last 20 years, and is scheduled to undergo a $78 million renovation.
Deputy St. Louis mayor for development, Barbara Geisman, noted that last week’s bond sales are likely to seal the deal.
"The proposed renovation of the Kiel Opera House took a big step forward…Many agreements related to private debt and equity financing needed for the development have been substantively completed,” Geisman said.
Stacy Hastie, president and chief executive of Environmental Operations Inc., noted that asbestos and lead paint removal is set to begin within the next few days.
Asbestos abatement must occur prior to the renovation–for when asbestos is disturbed, airborne particles may be inhaled. Once inhaled, the asbestos poses a serious health risk to those exposed. Diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma have been known to arise from the exposure.
Mesothelioma doctors struggle to diagnose patients with the disease, who are left with little hope for improvement.
The Keil Opera House was once home to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and is expected to host concerts and touring Broadway productions. The Keil’s main theater seats 3,200 people and contains smaller theaters with ranging seat capacities.
It is unclear when the renovation will conclude.
The first five years the Kiel Opera House is open, however, there will be a limit as to the number of traveling theater productions who perform there.