Construction is coming to a close on Simley High School’s new performing arts center, which accommodates 750 people, more than twice as many as the old space.

“For all intents and purposes, it’s ready to go,” said George Fairbanks, district spokesman.

Students will put on the first shows in the new theatre – several performances of ‘Footloose’ -- next weekend.

The Inver Grove Heights district passed a $25 million referendum in the fall of 2013, making the project possible. It is part of a larger, $14 million high school improvement project. A new athletic building was added, along with improved music rooms, a remodeled and relocated front office and flexible learning spaces – open areas students can use for different purposes.

A public open house was held in the performing arts center this week.