WASECA, MN- For nearly a century, theatrical plays and performances in Waseca were held outside of school and instead taking place at an auditorium at the Old Central Building built in 1924.

In seven weeks, that will change for students and staff as the roughly $8 million performing arts center is on track to put on quite a show.

Along with new amenities, performers will also have more room to entertain.

Superintendent of Waseca Public Schools Tom Lee says "The size of the stage is significantly larger now. So, our previous auditorium while it was historic and beautiful didn't offer us some of the opportunities that this one will bring us."

Seating capacity will increase to more than 700 and two new catwalks, one of which will provide more lighting than its previous tenant, are included in the upgrades.

For patrons of the arts, the date of August 30th will be music to their ears in which a variety show featuring local talent will help showcase the building's opening, starting at 7 p.m.

Although construction of the performing arts center will be complete, the program won't be a traditional grand opening as training on brand new equipment will still be on going.

Lee adds "It will be a soft opening because we will probably finish most of this stuff on the evening of the 30th. The guys on the job have been working really hard, they're tracking. We're on time, we're on budget. Things are going really well, we're really excited."

Friday, August 31st, country music's Blackhawk will perform, with comedian Diane Ford wrapping up the festivities on Saturday, both events begin at 7 p.m.

Lee says construction for the entire $28 million school project, that includes improvements to classrooms, locker rooms and the front office, should be complete for the first day of school in September.

For additional information on the events scheduled for the performing arts center, including tickets and an all school reunion, you can follow the Waseca Alumni Facebook page.

- KEYC News 12