In December 2008, the Oconomowoc Arts Center opened its doors as a celebration of the arts. The 30,000 sq. ft. facility was created for the students of the Oconomowoc Area School District, the communities of Greater Oconomowoc and the surrounding Lake County Region. Donations large and small made these communities’ dream become reality. The building is integrated with the existing high school and yet stands elegantly with its own identity. The 750 seat auditorium also allows for professional performances with its optimal acoustics, state of the art sound and lighting systems, a full height concert shell and a 54’ wide proscenium and full orchestra pit. The wood panels create warmth and comfort along with the oversized auditorium seating. The acoustical panels along the walls mimic the wood pattern, add color and create visual interest. The suspended ceiling panels are drywall, painted to match the acoustical wall panels, which gradate across the space.
The lobby provides a spacious and inviting environment both before and after performances, and also doubles as a reception space. The curved wall of the gallery is artfully painted and the display cases show rotating art pieces from students and local artists. The floor pattern incorporates carpet with accenting insets and ceramic tile. The clusters of the white suspended ceiling tiles add drama that contrasts against the black open ceiling. On the exterior, brick and precast link the addition to the existing high school while the dramatic curved metal clad entry wall speaks to the unique function of the Arts Center and visually expresses the creative energy housed within.
Additional supporting spaces include a ticket office, concessions, stage shop, work room, receiving, costume storage and dressing rooms. A separate rehearsal space was provided allowing performance practice outside the main auditorium.