The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Strauss Performing Arts Center will undergo a second round of renovation beginning in the summer of 2020. Private funds will cover the entire cost.
The announcement follows the recent completion of a project that added more than 25,000 square feet to the facility and renovated the Concert Hall, recording space, teaching studios and more. A blend of private and state-aided dollars covered this first phase of work.
The second phase will realize planners’ vision for an even more significant and complete renovation. Thanks to generous community support, the School of Music will now be able to move forward on completion of the visionary work.The project includes the following:
- Construction of a grand entrance on the west side of the building, providing a clear and inviting point of entry for performances and other large community events.
- Remodeling of all 27 practice rooms to increase soundproofing, allowing students to practice without distraction.
- Adding at least one additional classroom and expanding the existing computer lab from 13 to roughly 30 stations to meet a pressing educational need. The School of Music’s Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in Music Technology is its fastest-growing program.
- Flattening the floor of a rehearsal room to increase the flexibility of the space and improve acoustics as well as enhancing A/V and lighting.
- Installing a smooth floor on the first level of the building, easing transportation of delicate musical instruments.
Washington García, D.M.A., director of the School of Music, said the private support underscores the school’s strong relationship with the community. Engagement efforts range from arts education programs to community partnerships – such as the Nebraska Medical Orchestra, a creative outlet that helps both caregivers and patients.
“The impact that the School of Music is having on the community, our effort to make it a better place, has led the private sector and everyone in the community to support our mission and our vision. ” García said.
Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., called the gift an investment in local performing arts.
“Music adds beauty and richness to our lives; in our School of Music, we are hosting some of the region’s most dynamic events and, just as importantly, educating and mentoring musicians to thrive in the ever-changing world of music. Without question, this renovation will enhance the experiences of our students, performers and countless community guests.”
Organizers expect work to run from late spring 2020 through mid-year in 2021.
The School of Music is housed in UNO’s College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media. Supporting UNO’s metropolitan mission of community engagement, music students are highly involved in performance and education throughout the Omaha community. The school offers comprehensive programs in music education, music performance, music technology and music entrepreneurship.
View a Maverick Minute interview on the new phase of renovation
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.