Employees return to work at the Kentucky Center weeks after 3-alarm fire

The damage to the Kentucky Center is visible from the street, and inside isn't any better....
The damage to the Kentucky Center is visible from the street, and inside isn't any better. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Jul. 2, 2018 at 9:44 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - For the first time since a three-alarm fire ripped through the roof of a cultural staple to the Commonwealth, full-time employees have returned to their offices inside the Kentucky Center for Performing Arts.

Employees have been working in different offices since the fire on June 13th, Senior Marketing Manager Christian Adelberg said.

Performances are still put on hold while the Cabinet for Finance and Administration tracks the damage and determine the cost of repairs.

The fire started between the plaster and outer roofing making the large barrel rough an important place to check for structural damage.

"There are things that need to be done of course to make sure that the center is opening swiftly and safely," Adelberg said.

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The building is owned by the Commonwealth, and the Cabinet for Finance and Administration is managing the repairs.

Clean up continues as crews remove plaster to get a better look. Right now, employees are able to use just some parts of the building.

"We will not be able to determine if there has been any major structural damage to that metal and steel super structure of the roof until that plaster is removed," Pamela Trautner, Cabinet for Finance and Administration Public Information Officer, said.

The cabinet is working to determine a realistic time line to reopen.

The fire has forced the Kentucky Center to cancel and reschedule several shows, including a comedy show scheduled for August 10th.

"To get full time staff back into the building is wonderful and it's a great first step," Adelberg said.

Lab tests for hazardous materials have come back negative.

Still the public won't be allowed in until the state inspector gives approval.

"We will open portions of the building as they become available," Trautner said.

The Louisville Orchestra was scheduled to perform in Whitney Hall July 7 and 8, but will perform their rendition Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on November 3 and 4 at the Kentucky Center.

Trautner said a tour should be given to the media next week to see the repairs being made.

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