Last night, the Guilford High School Building Committee met at the community center and listened to the new proposals for the new high school's auditorium. Tai Soo Kim, of Tai Soo Kim Partners, presented the plans to the committee and residents who attended.
The proposed plan is currently $6,000 under budget, which pleased committee members and residents alike. Kim emphasized that not all the details of the plan are fully developed, but most of the major components have now come together.
"This new plan is the result of feedback we've received," said Kim. "I think we've made great progress. All the basics fit together now, and next we’ll tackle the details."
Currently, the plans for the new auditorium include the following highlights:
- 543 Fixed seats of varying sizes between 21 and 22 inches
- 70 Movable seats
- A total of 613 seats with both fixed and movable seats set up
- The stage will be made of a special material that will be springy enough for dancing performances
- The extended stage will accommodate 110 orchestra performers. With the extended stage, 542 seats will be available.
- The performance hall will feature true catwalks, including three catwalks above the stage area.
- A sound reflector for better acoustics will be above the stage
- There are several curtains proposed throughout the space that can be drawn manually from the catwalks in order to allow for less reverberation
- LED lights
- One or more Projection screens
- Fabric on walls on the backside of the space, as well as sheetrock and wood, and absorbent back panels so the echo effect is limited
- Ramp access to the stage
After hearing the plans, listeners considered the proposal and offered feedback. Here are some questions and concerns that were raised, and how they were addressed:
- Where do the portable seats get stored? There are two storage areas towards the rear of the space, as well as storage space under the stage
- Has there been acoustical analysis?
- There needs to be the technological ability for communication between music rooms and the theater so cast and crew can communicate during shows and events. Both an audio feed and video feed were brought up
- Segregated dressing rooms are needed.
- Our choir is well over 150 students, will there be enough room for all of us? We just spent $1500 on risers as a school group, are we going to be able to use them? The size of this stage is much larger than the last and should be accommodating to this large of a group.
In general, the feedback was very positive about the new plan. "I offer my congratulations to this new plan," said one resident. "It is miles ahead from what we last saw. Overall, I am amazed and impressed and I'm really excited about it. It is truly inspired."
"The space is so much more than just a high school auditorium," said one committee member. "It has truly transcended that and become a community space that could potentially generate income as we explore renting it out to organizations."
"This is far better than anything I expected," shared another listener. "We were being forced to talk about splitting up classes so they could attend events, and now that's off the table. This plan takes us so close to what a professional theater is like. I could see it being rented out to municipalities."