By a vote of 11-3, the Urban County Council gave final approval to begin the search for a contractor to renovate and expand the Lyric.
Council members K.C. Crosbie, Cheryl Feigel and Ed Lane voted against the proposal. Councilman Jay McChord was absent.
The vote came after nearly an hour of council discussion about the overall cost of the project. Council members had been told that construction would cost $6 million, but they were unaware of an additional $1.9 million in furniture and fit-up costs that would be required before the facility would open.
The renovation of the Lyric will more than double the size of the theater from its existing 13,000 square feet to 29,000 square feet. When completed, it will have a 588-seat theater, multipurpose space and an African-American history museum.