The $2.7 million Fremont City Auditorium renovation project is well underway.
In May 2018, Fremont residents passed a $2 million bond issue to restore The Fremont Municipal Auditorium constructed in 1937. The auditorium was designed by Fremont native, George Grabe, and exhibits beautiful Art Deco detailing, which has largely been preserved on the building exterior.
The City budgeted $1.125 million for the project and received a $1.125 million Civic and Community Center Financing Fund (CCCFF) grant from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.
Kim Koski, director of the Fremont Parks and Recreation Department, said the CCCFF grant is the largest grant ever awarded to the City of Fremont.
Fremont City Auditorium Renovation Project
The 28,750 SF historic building consists of a basement area, main floor area (19,506 SF), tiered seating area (5,000 SF) above the main floor and a second-floor consisting of occupied space. The focus of the renovation is on the first (main) floor.
The design focuses on incorporating flexible spaces and continuing to utilize the auditorium as a reception and event hall. The kitchen will be remodeled to serve as a food serving kitchen for catering events. More public meeting spaces were included and handicap accessible restrooms were added to the lower and main levels.
Fremont City Auditorium Renovation Project includes:
- Terrazzo floor in the main entry will be refurbished
- The stage will be walled off and used for storage
- The gym will receive luxury tile, a dividing wall will be installed to allow for flexible event space and acoustical panels will be added
- Main restrooms moved from the basement to the main floor
- Community room space updated and restrooms also added. New meeting room on the east side of the building
- Kitchen updated to be more user-friendly
- Balcony walled off to be used for storage space and to house new mechanical equipment
- Fire sprinkler system installed
- New HVAC systems
- New lighting and control panel
- Brand new storm windows
- Roof replacement
- Exterior masonry repairs and tuckpointing.
Schemmer provided the needs assessment and renovation study, which helped The City understand the condition of the facility, its uses, and create ideas and strategies for what it could become in the future. For the renovation, Schemmer provided architectural design, programming, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering, and is currently providing construction administration services.
Koski said that once the renovations are complete, the auditorium will be a great venue for larger events like wedding receptions and the two small rooms will work great for smaller parties and family gatherings.
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