NEOSHO, Mo. — The Neosho School District announced Thursday the appointment of rights donors for a new performing arts center, which is currently under construction.
A naming ceremony will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the high school, located at 511 S. Neosho Blvd. The ceremony will mark the first official celebration of the construction of the performing arts center and will give the public the opportunity to tour the construction.
Tuesday’s event will officially introduce the center’s name: the Freeman Health System Performing Arts Center. The Joplin-based hospital pledged a $1 million donation for naming rights.
The center’s atrium will be named after Community Bank and Trust – part of the project calls for a redesign of the lobby space to accommodate simultaneous events. The orchestra pit will bear the name of the Slinkard family.
Superintendent Jim Cummins thanked the donors and said their donations, along with similar naming rights donations for the La-Z-Boy End Zone facility, have helped ensure the projects deliver high-quality functionality to its students, while mitigating rising costs. for building materials.
“Some of what we factored into our 2019 proposal is much more expensive in 2022,” Cummins said. “But the name givers allowed us to equip the weight room in the end zone facility. …with the performing arts center we are going to be able to expand the fly loft for bigger props and other things that add value to the project.
The performing arts center is the largest in a series of construction projects voters approved in 2020 with a 39-cent increase. When complete, the 42,000 square foot center will offer a 1,500-seat auditorium with orchestra pit, acoustic treatments, fly loft, dressing rooms and loading area, as well as classrooms for performing arts students .
The neighborhood designed it to be large and modern enough to attract small traveling events, in addition to hosting plays, musicals and concerts performed by Neosho students.
The project, which expands the high school’s footprint by 36,130 square feet, also includes the renovation of existing space at the north end of the school. Expected to cost around $20 million, construction is expected to be completed in the spring of 2023.
Other projects in the 2020 levy increase that are complete or nearing completion include the installation of the end zone and storm shelters at three other schools in the district. Once the performing arts center is complete, the final projects—expanding the high school gymnasium restrooms and locker rooms and converting the old auditorium into a choir hall—can begin.
Cummins said other chances to secure naming rights under the project remain available. Potential donors can contact the district for more information.