Theatre remodel brings state-of-the art facilities

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The constant hammering and drilling that you’re hearing around the FSHA campus can probably be attributed to the construction on the auditorium, which started Jan. 12. Although FSHA’s Master Plan has not yet been approved by the City of La Canada, phase one of two for the remodeling of the nearly 60-year-old auditorium has begun.

Phase one of the remodel includes creating a 232 fixed-seat theater with state-of-the-art sound and lighting. All seats will also have good sight lines due to a staircase-like arrangement. Phase one will also include an updated 3D art classroom. Phase two is subject to the Master Plan being approved, and will include a green room, music classroom and 2D art classroom. Total cost is pegged at $9.6 million.

“A remodel can be challenging but is very manageable,” said CFO Carmella Grahn. “The current building has a lot of charming elements which are going to be enhanced.”

“We’re all very excited and looking forward to experiencing this new facility,”  Grahn said. “It’s going to be beautiful and a wonderful venue for our program!”

Some currently displaced students do not share the same enthusiasm. As a result of the remodel, students enrolled in 3D art and theater now have to make the long trek down to the Green room in the main building.

“I have mixed feelings,” said Athena Tonarely, who now has to make her way down to the main building every C block. “I enjoy the long walk because it is a nice view and it’s quite relaxing, but I do not like that I am often late to my classes after ceramics.”

All students parking near the auditorium have been moved to the lower lot to make space for the construction company, T. Viole Construction, to work.

“I’m fairly annoyed with the switch,” said senior Ashley Wells. “I have to leave home earlier than I used to in order to get to school on time, and I can’t just leave stuff in my car for easy retrieval like I could before.”

The remodel has prompted the annual spring drama production to be changed to a “festival of scenes” that will take place on campus later this year. Additionally, the annual dance concert had to be moved and will now be held at Lanterman Theatre in La Cañada.

The remodel is expected to be complete by the end of 2015. An “Arts Remodel Snapshot” will be issued twice a month via email letting the FSHA community know “What’s Happening Now” and “What’s Happening Next.”

—Carra Liwanag. Rendering courtesy of FSHA Development.

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