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Odessa High School performing arts center nears completion - Odessa American: ECISD

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Odessa High School performing arts center nears completion

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Posted: Friday, January 13, 2017 5:30 am

The Odessa High School Performing Arts Center, the last piece of Ector County Independent School District’s 2012 bond issue, is on its way to completion.

Chief Operations Officer David Finley said the target completion date is Feb. 17. The 25,000-square-foot structure will seat about 860. It will offer a black box theater, classrooms, practice rooms, a 34-foot deep stage and a state-of-the-art theater, among other features.

Finely said it was originally supposed to be completed in January, but there was a structural piece that needed to be updated and there were some weather delays.

On a recent tour with school officials, construction and architectural personnel, Associate Principal for Operations Tony Parris said the existing 750-seat auditorium will still be used for theater performances and speakers.

Parris was bursting with pride about the new facility.

“It’s not just an auditorium, but it’s a professional theater,” Parris said. “It’s going to have that quality. As soon as they tell us we can have the building, our choir and our theater are moving over here.”

“… Before we have any other production on the stage, we want to have a grand opening gala performance. All eight of our performing arts groups are going to be a part of that night,” Parris added.

Dignitaries and officials will be invited for the performance, Parris said. A date hasn’t been set yet.

“Any way to show the facility and let people experience how the orchestra sounds, how the band sounds, how the choir sounds, what theater looks like up there with the theater performance, the dancers up on the stage. It’s going to show off every aspect of this theater,” he added.

ECISD Board Secretary Ray Beaty said he has been keeping up with the blueprint aspect of the performing arts center, but Wednesday was the first time he had been in it, so he wanted to come by and take a look. Beaty said he thought it would live up to its flagship billing.

“I think so we’ve got incredible fine arts within our district and to be able to honor them with a facility like this, to be able to enhance the skills of the kids and enhance the ability of the fine arts it’s just an exceptional opportunity,” Beaty said.  

Parris said the performing arts center could also be rented. He said there’s no place like it available locally other than the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center.

“I can’t wait for us to start using it. It’s going to give kids a place to perform and parents a chance to see them perform,”

Having the existing auditorium will be a plus, Parris said.

“We’re still going to use it when this one’s open,” he said. “It’s going to be another alternative for what we have, so it’s going to be pretty nice and unique to be able to have two facilities like that for us to use. But this one is going to be the state-of-the -art pride and joy,” he said.

The construction manager at-risk for the $129.75 million bond is Lee Lewis Construction and the architect on this project was JSA.



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