Spangenberg Theater construction reaches completion

Eric Epstein

As the on-campus construction nears its con- clusion, the plans for moving students, staff and equipment into the new facilities are becoming more concrete. The project, which broke ground in early 2017, includes a remodeled Spangenberg Theater attached to a brand-new Performing Arts Center as well as a separate two-story central building.

The Performing Arts Center will be the new home to the band, orchestra and choir programs, according to Student Activities Director Lisa Hall. Although the initial plans were to move the music programs into their new facilities earlier in the semester, safety precautions and problems such as sewer line issues have impeded the move-in.

“That building is behind schedule and we’re kind of going week-by-week, hoping that the building will open before this semester ends,” Hall said. “For the music department, we’re just waiting on the final boxes to be checked before they’re ready to move in.”

Band and orchestra teacher Sandra Lewis has seen the projected move-in date slide further back throughout the semester. “Last year, we were told that we would be ready to go in to the [Performing Arts Center] on Aug. 17,” Lewis said. “Our [current] date to move in is supposed to be Dec. 10.”

Lewis is happy with the say that the music depart- ment has in the construction plans. “We did get some input on the design of the remodel,” Lewis said. “Through this whole project, there have been many different liaisons between the school and the construction company, and there have been a couple different construction managers. Through it all, myself, [band director Todd] Summers and [choir director Bill] Liberatore have all been able to put our two cents into the project, so that has been really nice.”

The central two-story building will be the loca- tion of a new Wellness Center, the counselors’ offices, media arts classes, flexible classroom spaces, a student activities classroom, a student activities lounge and possibly some social studies classes according to Hall. “There is going to be [student activities] lounge like we used to have, except that it will be a little bit smaller,” she said. “And we will have a retractable separator so we can open it up for larger events.”

In addition, Hall is hopeful that the Student Executive Council (SEC) will move into the building early into the second semester. “From what I understand, we are still on track to move in mid-January,” Hall said. “That’s the anticipated time that the building will be ready for people to be in it,” Assistant Principal of Facilities Margaret Reynolds confirmed that the scheduled move-in date for SEC and student activities is next semes- ter on Jan. 14.

Senior Class President Michael Panitchpakdi, who is also a choir member, is looking forward to the amenities that the new facilities will provide. “I heard that there’s a microwave in the new SEC building and I’m very excited because now I can heat up my lunches,” Panitchpakdi said. “I’m re- ally excited to sing in a better [choir] room with really nice acoustics. I would love to move in as soon as possible.”