Findlay, Ohio - As new middle schools in Findlay opened, eyes turned to the old school buildings they were replacing.  While two of the middle schools had to be demolished to accommodate their replacements, Central Middle School held a community gem worth preserving. 

This gem is a 1940's Art Deco inspired community theater, constructed during The Great Depression.  To enjoy the theater's history and its impact on the community, click on the short video below created by the Hancock County Performing Arts Center Committee.

Already saved from the wrecking ball, the auditorium is now being renovated for the enjoyment of future generations of Findlay and Hancock County residences.  When completed, the new performing arts center will invigorate the community's art scene, increase educational opportunities, and provide an exciting space to serve contemporary audiences.  It will also contribute to the area's economic development and workforce appeal, and to Findlay's distinctive quality of life.

The auditorium will be completely renovated.  The former seating of about 1,300 will be reduced to 1,000 to improve site lines, access, and comfort.  It will have an enlarged stage-house, including fly space for lighting and rigging, and wings to give performers ample area to move on and off the stage.  The rest of the center will feature rehearsal space, an art gallery, and multipurpose space.   Outside the building, the former school's parking lot will be expanded to hold 225 cars, while also providing summer event space for concerts or other gatherings.  Thanks to a lead gift from one of Findlay's major corporations, Marathon Petroleum Corp., the center will have a new name as the "Marathon Center for the Performing Arts."

RCM Architects, Inc. is proud to be leading the design team by providing Architectural, Landscape Architectural and Interior Design services for this community centerpiece.

While fund raising is ongoing, a ground breaking ceremony is scheduled for 11:00 AM on Tuesday, July 29th at the site.  Construction has started with the curtain rising to new shows later in 2015.