North Shore Country Day School gives auditorium, arts center a face lift
North Shore Country Day School students rehearsing inside the Diller Street Theater for the school's spring musical "Into the Woods.". | PROVIDED
Updated: April 22, 2013 6:06AM
If students and staff enjoyed the recent renovations to North Shore Country Day School’s Upper School they’ll be in for a treat when classes resume this fall.
Thanks to continuing fundraising efforts an $8 million project will completely modernize and renovate the campus’ auditorium and arts center.
As plans for the project began to unfold only improvements at the Diller Street Theater were discussed, but as questions came up the project grew. Faculty and staff input was gathered and soon the arts classrooms inside the building were included as well.
“It just made sense,” said Director of Operations Cindy Hooper. “Why not take the opportunity because time in school is precious. Those kids are busy kids. Why not go to those extra steps to make it work better?”
Classrooms for band, chorus, keyboard, ceramics, drama, photography, arts studios and wood/scenery shop will be transformed to better encourage student learning. New heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems as well as new electrical lighting and upgraded plumbing will be included.
“The function of the rooms will be more specific to the mediums that will be taught within them,” said visual arts department head Kate Puccia. “Historically it’s a pretty awesome building but it’s nice to see it on the forefront again as a core part of our program. A really strong program will be met with a really strong studio.”
The most noticeable change to students and guests will be the lighting, equipment and seating upgrades inside the Diller Street Theater.
“We can’t get kids up into the lighting bays because it’s not safe up there,” Hooper said. “The control booth equipment is 25-30 years old and they’re not using digital equipment. It’s been very limited for the kids who operate the sound, lights and stage.”
Transforming the stage will be new full rigging, a theatrical lighting system, integrated acoustical design, a catwalk, curtains, new stage floor, orchestra pit and audio/visual systems. Architectural finishes will be consistent with those of the completed Upper School renovation.
Thanks to the current fundraising campaign “Small School. Big Plans,” the funding for the project is in its final stages.
The auditorium, built in 1924, and the arts center, constructed in 1955, will begin construction after commencement ceremonies this June.
Administrators expect the construction will result in “minimal disruption” for the beginning of the 2013-14 school year and the projects are expected to be completed by March 2014.