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Project Timeline

What's Happening Now

Started Updates

in the Performance Center


-Purchased new tables and chairs and additional rentals for performances and conferences

-The theater company built a removable stage

-Received donations of projector screens

-Purchased risers for the auditorium

-Purchased a new projector and speaker system

-The theater company made curtains for the space

-Retrofitted LED lighting

Making the Needed Improvements to the Building


-Completed an occupancy review permitting us to use the spaces

-Installation of the new heating system for the building

-ADA parking installed at the building

-Installed ADA compliant handrails

-Retrofitted fire proof doors

-Removed lockers and basketball hoops from the space

-Making repairs throughout the space

-Installed Wi-Fi in the building.

Stimulating Economic and Educational Growth in the Community

-Added 5 business incubators

-Created a conference room complete with Wi-Fi, tables and chairs, and teleconferencing abilities.

-Created capacity for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Maker Space.

-Commissioned a high school intern, Gracie Andrews, to design and execute a mural in the building.

-Opened the doors for conferences and performance spaces.

-Developed a business plan to ensure the stability of the project and to enable use during the revitalization process.

-Extend Red Lodge's downtown by 3 blocks. 


Working to Receive Funding for the Project Moving Forward


-Received a rural development match challenge

-Establishing the Community Development Block Grant (Economic Development) with the City of Red Lodge. This is a revolving economic development loan fund that will not only help us with the development of Old Roosevelt but can be utilized for business development in Red Lodge in the future.

-Received a $10,000 Match Challenge from the National Endowment of the Arts that will be used for the Outdoor Spaces of Roosevelt


Life to the Outdoor Space


-Develop an overall outdoor site plan for community, performances and art.
-Added an outdoor mural on the sides of the building designed by a local artist
-Installing benches and chairs built by Beartooth Industries.
-Installing bear proof trash cans built by Back Alley Metals.
-Added a "General Store" playhouse donated by Nancy and Todd Curtis.
-Removed basketball hoops from the parking lot.
-Repaired picnic tables.
-Plans made for an information kiosk of Red Lodge (Wayfinding).
-Engage artists for sculptures throughout the space.

Where We've Been 




A group of citizens interested in the performing arts explored the possibility of building a performing arts/ convention center in Red Lodge. Preliminary work on a new build by new high school was explored.


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Performing artists from the area formed a planning committee and raised funds through small performances and other fundraising activities toward the goal of having performing arts center.



Original School District and Main Street Business Request to the Foundation: Identify uses for the Old Roosevelt School that will economically benefit the community, especially during the shoulder seasons for local businesses, and will not cost the school district tax payers any money.


“A Place for Our Arts” steering committee was formed. The Foundation hired staff to drive the project.

The Foundation brought together all arts organizations, for the first time in 25 years, to consider a potential funding opportunity to develop a community center for the arts.



A generous donor came forth to create the Music from the Beartooths, a concert series designed to support the performing arts and build awareness of the need for performance space. This individual also donated a baby grand piano to the Community Foundation for public use. Beartooth Front Community Forum held their annual forum to engage the community in the discussion about the potential uses of “Old Roosevelt.” The results expanded the focus to include facilities for broader community needs in addition to performing arts.



The Reuse Study was approved. The Gymnasium conflict was successfully resolved. A gymnasium will not be part of the project going forward. We located other spaces to fill the community’s gymnasium space needs. The Buy/Sell was finalized with a signed agreement between the school district and the foundation. We received a Challenge Match of $100K towards the purchase price fundraising goal and received $13K towards that Match. A historic preservation, pre-design workshop took place June 1st with the Historic Preservation Alliance Roadshow. Historic design elements were collected and will be utilized in final design. Funding was received for the Old Roosevelt Design Phase from the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) funded through the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) The design workshop was held October 7-9, 2016 and provided expert presentations and community engagement activities in the areas of architecture, design, and programming



A Red Lodge Schools music teacher, Gregory Harper, left his estate to the City of Red Lodge for the construction of a performing arts center to benefit students and the community.

The Red Lodge Public Schools Foundation was formed and set an important goal to add an auditorium and gym to the buildings available for education in Red Lodge. The performing artists’ committee became a committee of the Public Schools Foundation


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The arts community generated a list of current unmet needs for the arts, including: improved performance space (acoustics, stage, seating, and accessibility), education space, storage, and a commercial kitchen. An assessment was conducted and a current performance space inventory was created. Through evaluations at various performances located in all of the existing performance spaces. MSU-B college students assessed the evaluations. A tour of these same potential sites was conducted by an architect to support the evaluations made by the community. A strategic planning session was held, utilizing all of the data gathered to identify the best location and space to focus on for an arts & culture center. The Steering Committee determined that the “Old Roosevelt” school building was the most suited to conversion to a performing arts or arts and culture center. Mentoring relationships were built with two Montana arts centers which have utilized an existing school building, the Emerson Center in Bozeman and the Shane Lalani Center in Livingston.


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Arts awareness generated new grant making funds for the Foundation: The Emerging Artists Fund, and the Piano Fund. The Foundation sponsored four awards in the performing arts at the Boys and Girls Club annual COY (Celebrating Our Youth) awards ceremony. Adler Architects, working with CTA, produced the comprehensive “Revitalize Old Roosevelt” Adaptive Re-Use Strategy and Action Plan. Outcomes from the Foundation’s youth mentoring program provided evidence that youth are in need for arts space just as much as gymnasium space. The Old Roosevelt Steering committee expanded its cross sector representation with 25 members and 3 subcommittees.


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Engaged key stakeholders and visionaries to participate in 8 Final Design Workshops covering: Kitchen Space; Educational and Rental Space; Conference, Rental and Reception Space; Visual and Media Arts Space; Theatre Production Space; Musician and Musical Performances of All Types Space; Dancers Space; and Outdoor Space. Provided the design specifics to the architect. A&E Architects finalized on the Preliminary Architect Report and it was approved. The building was purchased by the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation June 30, 2017 after receiving the Harper Fund.

After the purchase, we removed the fence, retained the the tenants, established an endowment, and hosted an Open House for the community to come see the whole building and discuss opportunity.



Where We're Going

-Fire Suppression and Alarms installed

- Present the Summer Theater series

-Execute the outdoor space design, art installations, and landscaping plan

-Open the third floor's Gregory Harper Performance center and additional rooms

-Continued engagement of conferences, performances, and other uses.



- Covid Vaccination Clinics

-Americorps NCCC stay at the Roosevelt and helped with the many projects the building needed on the 1920's side of the building

- Roosevelt Center reaches full capacity of tenants



-Covid happened and the building was used sparringling

-ED Kat Healy started at the Roosevelt Center


-Roosevelt Center floods over 5 ft

-Roosevelt NCCC team

-Roosevelt has most events scheduled

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