- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - Where the desks of Chicago police detectives once stood in a West Side police district is now classrooms for theater-art courses. And the old firing range in the basement is now a storage space for costumes.

It’s the former 12th District Police Station, which has been transformed into the new, $8.5 million home of the Chicago Children’s Theatre. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned Tuesday.

Phase One of the project resulted in the new 149-seat Pritzker Family Studio Theatre. Phase Two will finish in 2021 and include a second, 299-seat theater.

Artistic director Jacqueline Russell says the Children’s Theatre’s first-ever permanent home “is a reason for all of Chicago to celebrate.” She says it creates a centrally located theatre for the city’s children, “regardless of their circumstances or ability to pay.”

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