Project Details

Kearney, NE
Kearney Public Schools
19,000 SF New; 14,000 SF Remodel
K-12 Education
Design Bid Build

Merryman Performing Arts Center (Located at Central Elementary)

The Merryman Performing Arts Center was a dream for many in the Kearney, Nebraska community, which began to take shape in 2005 when construction began. The Central Elementary School auditorium was transformed into a community performing arts center and holds the distinction of being the only community performing arts center located in an active elementary school. The partnership 
consisted of 14,000 SF renovation of Central Elementary school as well as a 19,000 SF addition. 

The renovation was devoted to three main areas – stage and auditorium, a commons and reception area and dressing rooms. The 760-seat auditorium features balcony and main level seating, new rigging, lighting, flooring, sound booth and significant acoustic treatment. Additional Merryman elements include a new front entrance, grand lobby, reception Hall, dressing rooms, HVAC upgrades and handicap accessible improvements while the school benefited from a new kitchen, gymnasium/multipurpose room and classrooms. The Center not only serves as a performing arts stage, but also hosts more than 130 events each year including school music programs, Kearney area concerts, dance recitals, church services and weddings.