|The Honeywell Center’s historic gymnasium has been transformed into Legacy Hall, an ideal location for weddings, banquets, and other social events. The 4650 square foot room features a refinished wooden floor, new light fixtures and ceiling tiles, and drapes to conceal the bleachers.
The idea to renovate the former gym began in 2009, when the YMCA moved its location from the Honeywell Center to its new facility. The gym was no longer being utilized for sporting activities and was primarily used for private parties and special events. The Honeywell Foundation Board of Directors recognized the change and made plans to transform the room into more suitable location for these types of functions.
Gradual changes took place the following years, including removing the basketball court stripes, scoreboards, and basketball goals. The entire ceiling was repaired and replaced with new tiles, and special light fixtures and can lights were installed to complement a new lighting system. The most dramatic change took place in late 2011 when a 20 foot tall curtain was installed to mask the bleacher seating which remains in place for structural stability. Other changes include adding new ventilation registers, refinishing the wooden main floor and stage floor, painting stairs and handrails, and installing a projector in the ceiling.
The transformation culminated in renaming the area to better reflect its history and current purpose. The name Legacy Hall was chosen to honor the room’s 65-year history of hosting a wide variety of events. High school sporting events and teen dances were held in the gym in the 40s and 50s, long before schools had their own gyms and auditoriums. The area was known as the “gymatorium,” as it also served as a performing arts hall prior to the 1994 construction of the current 1500-seat Ford Theater. The gymatorium hosted world-class performances by the New York Philharmonic, Boston Pops, and Vienna Boys Choir.
“It took a substantial amount of time, effort, and consideration by The Honeywell Foundation Board of Directors and staff to decide upon a name which adequately honored Legacy Hall and its fantastic history,” said Tod Minnich, Honeywell Foundation Executive Director. “After much deliberation, it was determined that this space would be called Legacy Hall as a way to honor its heritage and future. We are privileged to carry on the vision and legacy of Mark Honeywell.”
Legacy Hall is available for rent and seats up to 400 guests on the main floor or up to 1000 when utilizing the bleacher seating. The new décor makes it an ideal space for proms, weddings, banquets, and other events. For information on renting the space, contact Shannon Shrider or Ali Van Buskirk at 260-563-1102 or visit www.honeywellcenter.org.