FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) – A multimillion dollar renovation has been proposed for a Findlay Middle School auditorium.
Big changes could be on the horizon for Central Middle School if everything goes according to plan. The auditorium, dedicated in the 1940s, would be renovated to look more modern.
"We want to enhance this facility, enhance it, improve it, and make it available for all groups," explained City Councilman Jerry Muarry.
The auditorium would be shared by the community, allowing more opportunities for performances.
"A new central auditorium would mean great things for the city of Findlay. It would provide vibrance and vitality to an already thriving downtown," said Leigh Esper, Executive Director of the Hancock County Arts Partnership.
The exterior would remain mostly intact. The only major change would be to the south side of the building where a new entrance lobby will be added.
Inside changes include a new stage and the amount of seats would be reduced from 1,300 to 1,000 to make watching a performance more comfortable.
Currently, the planning is in the early stages. Before things can get started, the school must be vacant.
Central was badly damaged in the 2007 floods. As a result, in 2013, students will move to a new school and renovations will begin. However, that all depends if enough money can be raised. The project is estimated to cost $10 million.
"We don't have any major donors at this point, so we're getting there, but we're not there yet. So you have to give us some time," said Muarry.
Project supporters said if the plan becomes a reality it would be a big boost for the city.
"It will definitely be an economic boost to the city of Findlay. It's a quality of life issue providing opportunities for the people of Findlay, and bringing people to our city. It will be a great thing," said Esper.
"We're just lacking in the performing arts so if we can do this, we think we have a winning package for the future and we can be very competitive across Ohio, and the country, for attracting corporations and business investments," said Muarry.
Copyright 2012 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.