NORFOLK, Neb. — The Norfolk Public Schools received a gift Monday: a $425,000 grant from the John W. Carson Foundation, for improvements to the Johnny Carson Theater at Norfolk High School.
“It was a good gift to put in the bank for the school and the community,” said Doug Witte, Norfolk's associate superintendent of student services.
The grant funds will go toward new stage curtains and rigging in the theater, as well as improved sound and lighting systems. The new curtains and rigging are not only aesthetic in nature but also important safety improvements, he said.
The sound system will be updated to modern digital equipment, he said.
The grant covers all the cost of the improvements, along with an allowance for an architect's fee.
Work will begin as soon as possible after the holiday break, depending on the availability of the companies hired to do the work.
Johnny Carson donated $600,000 in 1991 to help complete the theater, which was built as part of a bond issue passed by Norfolk voters. Carson lived much of his childhood in Norfolk.