The Milo Towh Hall celebrates its 79th birthday this year and what a history it has had! Twelve hundred people attended its standing-room-only 1924 dedication, and since then it has seen foot-stomping basketball games with cheerleaders standing on the balcony rim, high school plays and musicals, speaking contests, Christmas programs, town shows, reunions, and other events that no longer come to mind. If you stand quietly, you can almost hear the echoes of its exciting past.
When the Town Hall was built, it was the best place around for all those events. Now it no longer meets modern standards for sound and lighting, the wiring is antiquated, the floor squeaks, and the stage shows the ravages of time. Present-day students lack an adequate place to present plays and other events important to their education, for along with the now sub-standard Town Hall Auditorium, the SAD 41 gym is acoustically unfit for cultural events. There is no likelihood that state funding will ever be available to build a new autidtorium, and we are at a crossroads.
Several months ago, the Three Rivers Kiwanis Club proposed to lead an area-wide effort to renovate the Town Hall to make it a first-class arts center and auditorium for our whole area to use, all to be done with fund-raising and hands-on work by volunteers, and without the expenditure of any tax dollars. Since then, priorities have been set: theater lighting and sound, stage improvements, and new floors, in that order. Fund-raising has begun, and excitement is building. Folks are envisioning coffee house events, school plays, musical programs, dances, art shows, photography exhibits, and all kinds of other cultural programs in this new, revitalized Town Hall Arts Center. They are thinking about how much this can add to our lives and the lives of our children, our number one priority. We all need a local place to laugh, to relax, to socialize, and to enjoy life. That is what the new Arts Center/Auditorium is for.
The Ed Wingler Auditorium is on the second floor of the Milo Town Hall. It is named for Ed J. Wingler, Custodian of the Milo Town Hall from 1924 to 1965. The hall has been used for many things over the many years it has served the town.
The stage area of the auditorium has recently been rennovated by the Three Rivers Kiwanis Club as part of their "Town Hall Arts Center" Project.