Kansas Governor Laura Kelly joined Wichita community leaders Wednesday for a groundbreaking ceremony to begin work on a project to restore an historic theater.

The project will restore the Dunbar Theater at 1007 North Cleveland into a new arts and entertainment facility.  The project will be done in five phases, and the first phase will develop a community center that is expected to open later this year.

Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple, Vice-Mayor Brandon Johnson, and State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau took part in the groundbreaking to kick off the first phase.  Officials with Walmart stores presented a check for $50,000 to the POWER CDC organization to go toward the project.

Governor Kelly said rehabilitating the Dunbar is about more than just preserving history.  It’s about restoring the vibrant Black business community that the site represents, creating jobs and reinstating the reputation of the site as a commercial hub.