Wheeling Park High School, J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center

Wheeling, West Virginia

J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center was constructed as an addition to the front of an existing school. The primary elevation is articulated with several materials, including a matching brick base, arranged to visually integrate the large structure into the sprawling scale of the existing building.

The theater is a three-level gallery configuration, providing ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY1,200COST PER SQ FT$270.60FEATURED IN2013 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized audience with optimal proximity to the stage. The upper galleries are shallow crescents. Ground-floor seating is elevated and curved at the back, designed to be within 100 feet of center stage, and to enhance the acoustical performance for even unamplified, untrained voices.

The stage includes a professional rigging system and an attached scene shop, with direct access for large scenery and equipment.

The theater is linked to the existing school with a compact but dynamic two-story lobby space. It features a suspended monumental stair connecting the open balcony of the upper lobby to the curtainwall-glazed ground floor. The oversized mid-point landing on this stair looks out onto the entry plaza, and into the dramatic cascading hillside of the adjoining park.