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Community input sought for new performing arts center name

Name suggestions can be submitted at through Feb. 12.

Brainerd School Board and staff members stand in the lobby of the new performing arts center during a tour Monday, July 13. The center is under construction on the north side of Brainerd High School is expected to be finished in 2021. Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch
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The community is invited to submit name ideas for the new Brainerd Public Schools performing arts center.

Part of the 2018 bonding referendum, the 1,200-seat performing arts center is expected to be completed this fall and will be available for school productions and concerts, as well as for performers from all over the region.

“I would really like to challenge the ISD 181 community to put their thinking hats on for this name,” School Board Chair Bob Nystrom said during a board meeting Monday, Jan. 25. “This is a very important decision, as the name of the performing arts center will be in perpetuity. And it is such an asset to our community. It’s just a gem — the fact that this community supported the add-on to make this the performing arts center that it is. We really want to have a name that stands out and will be multi-generational. So please, we really need your input.”

School board policy for naming district buildings dictates the following:

  • The name will be clearly identifying, widely known and recognized.

  • The purpose of the name will be to unify the population of the region and will have equal relevance for all.

  • The name should include a definition of function, such as “elementary school,” “middle school,” “district office,” etc.

  • The name may reflect geographical landmarks.

  • If a major portion of the building or school grounds is proposed to be named after an individual, that person shall have attained local or national prominence via significant contributions in any field or endeavor. Such contributions shall be clearly established beyond the generation of contribution. Individuals so recognized shall no longer be active in his or her career, and any individual for whom a portion of a school building or school grounds is named must be shown to have broad-based, long-term impact to the school district.

The school board asks community members to keep those guidelines in mind when suggesting names.
Name ideas can be submitted at , and those suggesting names should describe how their chosen name relates to the Warrior spirit and the Brainerd Public Schools performing arts programs.


Suggestions will be taken through Feb. 12. The following week, a committee of community members and district staff will narrow down the community submissions. The committee will submit the top three names to the school board at its Feb. 22 meeting, and board members will make the final decision.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .
Related Topics: EDUCATION
Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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