HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – The Hattiesburg Community Arts Center received a nearly $220,000 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Building Fund to transform the Paper Warehouse Theater space into a black box theater.

The new space will be designed for flexibility and creativity in stage configurations and presentations.

City officials said the city will match the grant with more than $100,000 of revenue from the 1-cent restaurant and hotel/motel tax. The cost is expected to cover the reconstruction of the 6,000-square-foot space for better flow and organization for audiences, theater participants and show directors. The grant will also allow for the purchase of theater-grade trusses, a lighting system, a sound system, staging and retractable seating.

According to city officials, work is expected to begin in the spring or summer of 2023.