With help from a private foundation, the auditorium at Moline High School will soon be transformed into a performing arts center. Monday night the board of education approved plans to renovate and expand the current facility.
Superintendent Lanty McGuire says last June the Robert E. Bartlett Family Foundation offered to help the district with the project - it will contribute $7 million of the $10 million cost with the district paying the rest.
"If you look at the auditorium — it was built in 1958 and other than some paint and refurbishing some of the seats, it's pretty much the same structure."
Moline High School now has just one stage so only one group or production at a time can use it.
"I think we're looking at building a structure that maybe has a "black box" - another stage so you have different places so different groups can be working at the same time."
McGuire hopes construction can begin by December or January, with completion in a year.
Still to be decided is where the school district's money for the project will come from — he says either from the new local option sales for schools, or by selling bonds.