• To seek, accept, and properly manage gifts to restore, renovate and ensure the continued success of the Napoleon Civic Center.

  • To oversee the renovation of the auditorium and classroom structures to meet the proposed needs of the civic center.

  • To encourage the use of the facility by community organizations, senior citizens, school and government entities, and local arts organizations.

  • To establish ways to maintain, in perpetuity, the civic center for the benefit of the residents of Henry County.

525799_394650050580893_735631567_nRecently the residents of the Napoleon Area Schools voted to work with the Ohio School Facilities Commission to build a new elementary and middle school. The architect’s plans include the demolition of the JLJ Auditorium (built in 1935) with the rest of the Central complex. It will be replaced at the new site with a gymnatorium, a shared facility between athletics and the performing arts. Problems of scheduling, sound, lighting, and inadequate seating for larger musical productions will result. The residents of Napoleon and the communities of Henry County need a proper auditorium.

Cost of renovation of John L. Johnson Auditorium.

Phase 1:


Improvements to Napoleon Civic Center/John L. Johnson would include but not limited to:

  • Demolition of the east side/old high school portion (built in 1921), saving some architectural elements to be incorporated in the future.

  • Add a new heating and cooling unit to the auditorium/building.

  • Replace the roof.

  • Incorporate new sound and lighting systems for the stage area.

  • In the future, replace stage curtains, side wall drapes, seating and carpeting.

  • A permanent outdoor amphitheater stage with canopy built on the east side of the complex for outdoor concerts, theatrical presentations, bands and other musical groups, incorporating recovered historical architectural elements from demolition of the east side/old high school portion, and finally offer ample parking.

Click to Enlarge Images

Napoleon Civic Center1 Napoleon Civic Center2 Napoleon Civic Center3 Napoleon Civic Center5

Additional uses for the complex:

  • Loose Field and seating will be retained.

  • The Snake Pit (lower gym) will be retained and used for community activities.

  • Locker room, showers and restrooms will be retained.

  • The Central Elementary/west side cafeteria and kitchen could be used for receptions, banquets, and parties

  • West side classrooms (built in 1953) could be used as art studios, music, and dance studios, city offices.

  • Recreation department could offer summer craft classes inside and have an exterior show on the lawn.

  • The Auditorium will be fitted to be used also as a state-of-the-art wide screen movie house with surround sound.
  • The playground will be retained.

  • Acquire National Historic Register of Historic Places status.

We hope you will help the Napoleon Civic Center dream become a reality as we progress towards renovation and restoration. Here’s how you can help…

  • Donate to the Napoleon Civic Center…
    Give a pledge or donation to our Napoleon Civic Center Fund Drive and know that you will be making a tremendous difference to the John. L. Johnson Auditorium’s present and future. Your support will help us to move forward for our $3.1 million goal to begin the renovation and restoration progress of the complex. Honor a special person in your life with a Tribute or Memorial gift. Make your gift go twice as far by utilizing your employer’s Matching Gift program. Naming rights based upon donation size will be determined in the near future.

Donations (Click for more information about donating)

% The Henry County Bank
122 E. Washington
Napoleon, Ohio 4354
—donations are tax deductible
—donors will be publicly acknowledged unless anonymity is desired

  • Write a Proclamation or Letter of Support… You and your organization can write a letter of proclamation supporting the need and efforts of the Napoleon Civic Center. Letters can be sent to:
    Napoleon Civic Center
    PO Box 585
    Napoleon, OH 43545

  • Volunteer on one of the various committees… We need help and assistance in all aspects of this noteworthy endeavor. You can aid us by becoming a member of one or more of the various committees, including Communications, Endowment, Fund-raising, Grant Writing, or general volunteer when needed. Contact one of the Central Committee members as listed in the website.

Please know that however you choose to give, everyone at the Napoleon Civic Center is immensely grateful for your friendship. Friends like you are the reason the dream of preserving the John L. Johnson Auditorium is a reality. We want our future generations to be able to look back knowing Napoleon placed a high priority on the arts and aesthetic appreciation of beauty.