Findlay prepares for new performing arts center downtown - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Findlay prepares for new performing arts center downtown

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FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Downtown Findlay has become the heart of the city in recent years, and in a few more years, leaders say the crown jewel of the area will be built with a new Hancock County performing arts center.

Announced last summer, the future center will be named after its lead donor, Marathon Petroleum. The Marathon Center for Performing Arts will be built on the property of the former Central Junior High on West Main Cross Street. Findlay City Schools has already removed all remnants of the former building, except the old auditorium, which is being donated to the performing arts center board.

"In addition to being close to our restaurants and offices and stores, including our government, we're very close to the Marathon headquarters, close to Cooper Tire. It's just the right place to be," said Board Chairman Ed Reading.

The auditorium will be gutted and fully modernized, but the exterior will stay the same, and a brand new atrium and black box area will be built on the west side of the building.

"We're doing everything we can to retain that spirit, that feeling, but at the same time, giving it a modern face," Reading said.

The arts center is a collaboration of multiple groups and leaders say everyone in the area will benefit from it.

"We on the board are working very hard, but the community is what's going to make it happen, and the community is going to benefit," said Reading.

Fundraising for the $12 million project goes into its public phase next year. Construction is set to follow in the spring.

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