- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) - Part of a central Indiana shopping mall could be converted into an arts center with a 1,200-seat auditorium.

The concept outlined to Columbus officials targets a new use for the space in the downtown Commons Mall that will be vacant after Sears closes its store there this spring.

An architect estimated it could cost about $30 million to convert the store to include the performance area and the Indiana University Center for Art + Design, along with convention and office space.

Mayor Kristen Brown tells The Republic (https://bit.ly/OUkGZ4 ) a combination of tax money and private donations could be used for the project but that no decisions have been made.

Renovations are also being considered for the nearby 135-year-old Crump Theatre so it could host community theater and musical events.

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Information from: The Republic, https://www.therepublic.com/

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