The Miller Center project is in the final stages of a 24-month renovation process and will reopen to the public on January 5. Since 1975, the Miller Center has been the primary home of Parks and Recreation administrative offices as well as a neighborhood center, classrooms, and theater space. The project will cost almost $5 million to renovate the historic former school building, built in 1911. Improvements will increase connectivity to Miller Park, provide handicap access, increase the efficiency of the heating, cooling and mechanical systems, renovate the theater, consolidate office space and provide increased neighborhood center and classroom space.
View a slideshowof ongoing progress of the renovations at Miller Center. See conceptual designs of the Miller Center renovations below, and watch a video about the project. For more information, please contact our main administrative offices by phone at (434) 455-5858.
The addition of a new entrance and elevator will allow access to all floors for members of the public. In addition, restroom facilities and parking will now be handicap accessible, and doorways and seating that meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have been incorporated into the design where applicable.
The 185-seat Miller Center Theater served as the auditorium when the center was operated as a school, and has remained largely unchanged since that time. Improvements include: improved lighting and other electrical upgrades to allow for a wide variety of artistic productions such as dance, theater, and musical performances; restoration of the existing stage floor; improvements to the theater to increase sound proofing; and improvements to the existing seating to improve handicap seating.
Improvements to Electrical, Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Mechanical Systems; Roof Replacement
All of the major building systems were ageing and inefficient and will be upgraded and/or replaced. The building will now meet building code guidelines for safety and access and have greatly reduced operating expenses while maintaining the historical character that contributes so much to the community. The roof of the building had reached the end of its life span, and will be replaced.
Connection to Miller Park
The Miller Center began its use as a public building as the Miller Park School in 1911. Renamed the Janet Snead School, it served elementary students until 1971 when it became the main administrative offices of the Parks and Recreation Department. It is only fitting, then, that the project plans call for a new and improved connection to Miller Park. The improvements will include a new pedestrian crossing area from the front entrance on Grove Street to the park, improved lighting, and other amenities such as benches and landscaping.
Improvements to Office Space, Neighborhood Center and Classroom Space
The new and improved Neighborhood Center will be located on the ground floor and features a computer lab, kitchen, and increased open space for the after-school program as well as flexible meeting space. Office and classroom space has been reconfigured to meet the needs of the department and program areas, including the return of the Nature Zone Environmental Center to Miller Center.