More renovations coming to Strauss Performing Arts


Koichi Iwasaki

A photo of the Strauss Performing Arts building at the UNO campus
Strauss Performing Arts will undergo more renovations in 2020. Photo courtesy of UNO Communications

The University of Nebraska at Omaha announced on Nov. 23, 2019 a second round of renovations for the Strauss Performing Arts Center will begin in the summer of 2020.

The announcement revealed the recent completion of a project was to add more than 25,000 square feet to the facility and renovat the Concert Hall, recording space, teaching studios and others. Construction fees of the first phase are covered by a blend of private and state, according to the announcement.

The announcement also said the second phase will realize planners’ vision for new facilities. Thanks to generous community support, the School of Music will be able to complete its visionary work. Private funds will cover the entire cost for the second phase of the construction, according to the announcement.

The project includes the following:
• Construction of an entrance on the west side of the building, which will provide a clear and inviting point of entry for performances and other large community events.
• Remodeling of all 27 practice rooms to improve soundproofing, which will allow students to practice without any disturbances.
• Adding at least one additional classroom and expanding the existing computer lab from 13 to roughly 30 stations for educational demand.
• Flattening the floor of a rehearsal room to increase the flexibility of the space. In addition, improving acoustics for enhancing A/V and lighting.
• Installing a smooth floor on the first floor to make it easy to transport delicate musical instruments.

Director of the School of Music Washington García said the private supports indicate UNO’s strong relationship with the community.

Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D, called the gift an investment among local performing arts.

“Music adds beauty and richness to our lives; in our School of Music, we are hosting some of the region’s most dynamic events and, just as importantly, educating and mentoring musicians to thrive in the ever-changing world of music. Without question, this renovation will enhance the experiences of our students, performers and countless community guests,” Gold said.

The announcement said organizers expect work to run from late spring 2020 through mid-year in 2021.