Answer Man: Civic Theatre is in good company

Superior High School, in Superior, Wis., has a circular design similar to Mayo High School in Rochester. It's to be demolished within a few years, after voters approved a $92.5 million bond referendum for three new schools.

Dear Answer Man, has the Civic Theatre changed its name? Their posters and things now say "The Rochester Civic Theatre Company." Is that their official name?

That's the official name. I checked with Sinead Chick, the theater's operations manager, and she said by email, "As you and your esteemed readers have noticed, the Civic has undergone a few changes recently, including a comprehensive rebranding effort which included adding the word 'company' to our name.

"While the word 'company' is synonymous with theater, it can also be defined as a number of persons united or incorporated for a joint action, an assemblage of persons for social purposes. This name change, we believe, is a reflection of our changing organization, acknowledgement that the 'we' are all the above. We are committed to our Rochester community, we take seriously our civic responsibility, theater is what we do well, in the company of amazing talent.

"See you at the Civic."

FYI, that Civic motto doesn't work for me, since my identity remains a delightful mystery. You won't "see" me at the Civic, or anywhere else.


Among the big-league theater companies that include the word "company" in their formal names: The Royal Shakespeare Company , and closer to home, the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis. So the Civic is in good company.

FYI, the Rochester Repertory Theatre adds "Company" to its name on its Facebook page .

Superior's circular school

Mayo High School isn't the only high school in America with a circular design. I raised that topic in my masterpiece Tuesday, and a helpful reader, Michelle B.,noted on Facebook even before the mighty Post Bulletin press began to roll that the Superior, Wis., High School is circular.

One of my research associates called the school principal, Kent Bergum, Tuesday and he said the building is indeed circular and two stories tall. Like Mayo High School, it dates from the mid-1960s, when circular, sleek, Space Age designs were in the air. (Think Guggenheim Museum. )

Unfortunately, the Superior school has a date with the wrecking ball within a few years. The school district won approval of a whopping $92.5 million building referendum last spring and the high school is to be replaced by fall 2019. The new structure will be nearby the current building, which will become a parking lot.

At that point, will Mayo be the only circular school known to man? No way -- in fact, as deadline loomed today, readers were coming out of the woodwork with more tips. Circular schools are everywhere! There's one in Albert Lea -- it was Brookside Junior High when it was built in the mid-60's, and it's now the Brookside Education Center. Thanks to another Answer Maniac, Brita, for that tip. And Brian K.tells me that Appleton East High School in Appleton, Wis., is circular, but only in part.

Edward Neill Elementary is truly circular in Burnsville, and the nearby Nicollet Middle School has a circular element. Crooked Lake Elementary in Coon Rapids is circular, White Bear Lake High School was built in 1964 and has three circular parts, and the list goes on. Thanks to all who added to my database.


Going back to Superior for a second: That was a huge bond referendum, and a gigantic vote of confidence in the city's future. Compare it to recent referendums in the Rochester area and you would have to agree, it's audacious.

Mural is by the master

In Saturday's jumbo Post Bulletin , I had an item on improvements at Northgate Health Club , and I noted the flashy mural on the wall facing 11th Avenue Northwest. A reader tells me what I should have guessed: It's by Greg Wimmer , the master muralist whose work is all over Rochester, including on the someday-to-be-doomed CJ's Midtown Lounge on South Broadway.

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