This project had many challenges. The design directive was to renovate and update an existing auditorium to a modern, flexible performance and teaching space with expanded capabilities within a modest budget. Over the years, the auditorium had been remodeled and repaired with a piecemeal approach, and prior to renovation it was being used as a CAPACITY425COST PER SQ FT$223.09FEATURED IN2009 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation hall.
When the design process began, the team quickly discovered electrical service was maxed out with no room for expansion. The auditorium was situated in the middle of the facility on the second and third floors with no easy access for construction. The team had budget constraints, as well as time constraints. The electrical updates and all demolition work had to be started as soon as school was out and had to be completed by the fall.
The original auditorium space featured a large amount of ornamental and decorative plaster that was preserved; its appearance was enhanced with muted colors on adjacent walls. The old theater light fixtures were ceiling- mounted and dangerous to access. New lighting fixtures were mounted on a power-operated batten at mid house.
The auditorium is a performance space and also a teaching space. An expanded control booth enables teachers to instruct students on stage and in the booth easily at the same time.
The original theater design included tall, arched windows on the side exterior that had been filled in over the years. To recapture the original design of the arched windows, acoustical wall panels were designed to mirror the shape of the original windows. The school and the community are pleased with the new auditorium, which was accomplished on time and under budget.