OWOSSO (WJRT) (4/23/2018) - Officials with the Owosso Public Schools are all smiles this week.
The Cook Family Foundation is donating $1.1 million to the district. This money is going towards an upgrade to the multi-purpose performance pace, turning it into a true auditorium. Superintendent Andrea Tuttle is looking forward to the potential this can give to her students.
Owosso students, parents and faculty are thrilled to know this money is going towards furthering the school's performing arts programs.
“It's a club program right now, and with these new additions to the auditorium we will be including theater into our curriculum,” Tuttle said.
In 2017, voters Owosso voters passed the school's largest bond proposal totaling more than $45 million with 58 percent of the vote.
A portion of that money is going towards building a new performing arts center.
Tom Cook with The Cook Family Foundation said he was thrilled to see the community stepping up. He and his other board members did, however, see the limitations with the bond.
So, they wanted to pitch in too.
"This $1.1 million grant will enable the schools to make a full theater out of it and support the dramatic arts,” Cook said.
This upgrade is going to offer more to the students than what was initially in the bond and no extra cost to taxpayers.
“A full fly, which was not included in the bond. It will include a full orchestra pit. It will include an arbor pit and enhanced lighting and technology and soundboards,” Tuttle said.
Tuttle said this theater could also be a possible revenue booster for the school district.
“We hope to bring dance recitals. We have a wonderful program and a wonderful community theater the Lebowsky Center, and this is just another asset to have in our community," she said. "So, we are hoping to bring additional programming into our community."
The plans for this building are still in its early stages, but Tuttle hopes the building is completed by fall of 2020.