Work on the new performing arts center at North High School remains on schedule for the facility to open in time for next school year.
Hall County School District facilities director Matt Cox told the school board Monday that weather is always a worry when building projects are underway, but he said the new center — which will seat 350 people — is on track.
After the building’s under-roof construction is complete around March 21, Cox said “things will appear to move faster.” Completion is expected this summer.
The facility will include “better back-of-house areas, a new band suite, chorus suite and drama suite,” Cox said, in addition to the larger auditorium. A new lobby and ticket booth also will be built in the front of the center.
Cox reported the school administration has trained the students to avoid the construction — which was, and is, a safety concern.
The performing arts center is being constructed where the chorus, band and theater were in the space between the school’s two gymnasiums. It will connect the fine arts center and gyms in one building.
Education special purpose local option sales tax money is paying for the project. It is the start of a plan to upgrade performing arts centers throughout Hall County.
Will Schofield, Hall County superintendent, said the new performing arts center “absolutely will change that campus.”
East Hall High School is in line to have the next upgrade for a performing arts center, but doesn’t have a construction schedule yet.
Cox also reported work is moving despite a “couple of surprises” on site improvements for East Hall, including bus lanes, drainage and a greenhouse.
“It’s been a slow go because of the weather, but we anticipated that,” Cox said.
He pointed out that the work will provide much greater safety for bus traffic in and out of the school site.
The final part of the project — the greenhouse — has been ordered, he said, and work is on schedule for the final completion March 24.
The board also approved spending $700,000 in E-SPLOST money for technology in the system.
The money will include buying about 600 Chromebooks and cabinets. Other projects will include virtual machine infrastructure and renovations for the Jones Early College.