Future Johnson High School students have plenty to look forward to, as Hall County Schools recently provided a look at a new performing arts center that school officials say will be ready for the 2022 school year.
The center, which was designed by Robertson, Loia, Roof, PC, will cost $9 million and be funded by the bond referendum approved by Hall County voters in June. A contractor to build the center has not been named. Renderings of the new building were shown at a Board of Education work session held Monday evening.
“We are very thankful and grateful,” said newly appointed Johnson Principal Jonathan Edwards. “It’s going to be a first-class facility, so we’re very excited.”
The building will seat around 400 people, according to district spokesman Stan Lewis, enough to house an entire school class. The stage will be “adequate width and depth to accommodate a large concert band,” according to Lewis, and the backstage area will have plenty of room for cast members of plays to move about, as well as dressing rooms and prop storage areas.
“A lot of consideration was also given to the acoustics so that we could enhance chorus, band and musical/drama performances, providing a greater experience for our stakeholders,” Lewis wrote via email. “The new performing arts center, with its larger space and upgrades, will allow Johnson to share the arts with more people in our community.”
Edwards said he envisions the new building to be “a space for the entire school.”
In addition to housing the drama program and providing a concert venue for the Johnson band and chorus, Edwards said the school’s administrative team has been working on creative ways to showcase art and photography produced by Johnson students.
“Hands down I think it’s going to improve the experience of our students,” Edwards said. “Aside from just being aesthetically outstanding, it’s going to look and function as a first-class facility for our entire school, as well as the entire community to be proud of.”