“Basically, we gutted the whole building,” she said.
A year of renovations had to take place, which included new insulation and getting the building up to code in various capacities.
But now that the work is done, Beckmann is very pleased with the results. The center has a two-story building with a full basement for all of its storage, exhibit and office needs.
Funds to support the purchase and renovation for the new center came from the Waseca Area Foundation and from more than 95 families, individuals and businesses. Special purchases for the building have come from Brown Printing Company and the Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation of Rochester.
The total cost is in the hundreds of thousands, but Beckmann said the Council has yet to release the official total.
Beckmann said they will be celebrating at the opening gala, on Feb. 1, with a ribbon-cutting at 8 p.m., Champagne, live music and hors d’oeuvres. There will also be 15 raffles scattered throughout the building.
Beckmann said part of the center’s permanent art collection will be on display, as will the complete art gift shop. A lounge area with a memorial fireplace and piano are new touches to the main floor.
On the second floor, classes will be offered in the Kent and Diane Schultz Auditorium. Concerts and special events will take place there too.
The center still plans to have exhibits running year-round, just like at the old place.