Plans to buy a former casino boat that would replace the University’s Centennial Show Boat have gone up in smoke.
The boat has been sold to someone else.
The original showboat was burned to its hull in late January, after a welding spark ignited during its renovation in St. Paul. For 35 years, the boat had been used as a training ground for University theater students.
Officials deemed the showboat impossible to rebuild and began looking for a replacement soon after.
At a June Board of Regents meeting, University officials announced they were looking at the Southern Star, which was docked in Morris, Ill., and would sell for about $1 million.
The boat’s cost and some repairs would have been covered by the University’s $1.075 million insurance settlement from the charred showboat and some University funding, but officials were unsure of where an additional $1 million in renovation costs would come from.
Since the Southern Star was sold to someone else, officials are negotiating with Padelford Packet Boat Co. in St. Paul for the purchase of a different replacement boat.
Originally, the theater department hoped the boat would be ready for performances by July 4, 2001. It is now unclear when a replacement will be available for University use.
Erin Ghere welcomes comments at [email protected]