MT. VERNON – Talks are underway for the new proposed Mt. Vernon Township High School theater to be named after the Schweinfurth Foundation.
The school's current auditorium carries the Schweinfurth name and local officials want to continue that partnership with the new campus. A final decision, though, has not been reached.
To receive naming rights, Schweinfurth would help fund equipment for the new theater, said MVTHS Superintendent Michael Smith. A dollar amount for the proposed contribution has not been made public, but an announcement is expected no later than June.
“We're in the process of finalizing details,” Smith said. “The district has been recognized as a recipient of a Schweinfurth grant. The final terms and conditions are still under discussion.”
State grants would also be used to equip the new theater. The Schweinfurth funding would help generate matching funds for those grants.
MVTHS has had a long and fruitful relationship with Schweinfurth, Smith said. In the past 15 years, the foundation has donated over $500,000 to the school district's music, performance and visual arts programs through grants and annual allotments.
“It's been a very beneficial and helpful partnership over the last 15 years and we're looking forward to continuing that in the future,” Smith said.
Thanks to Schweinfurth funding, the district has been able to provide instruments to band students who can't afford the equipment on their own. Also, foundation grants have supplied the more advanced band students with “upper end” equipment and instruments, said Nick Loafman, MVTHS band director.
“It's really a great thing,” Loafman said of the partnership. “We're really lucky to have it.”
There will be additional naming opportunities for the new MVTHS campus. A catalogue of those opportunities will be released in the near future, Smith said.
As of mid-May, the total square footage of the new campus was estimated at 310,000 square feet. The school is designed to equip 1,500 students in 900 square feet classrooms.
The theater will seat 650 people, the cafeteria will accommodate 500, and the gym will have 1,850 to 1,995 seats. The outside sports facility will seat up to 2,000 patrons on the home side and 500 on the visitors side.