Having a performing arts center has been a dream for many of the founders of Providence and now this dream has come true.
On Monday, Oct. 5; construction began on the new performing arts center. Members of the board of directors and city officials symbolically removed small portions of dirt from a large mound of dirt put there for this ceremony while the Upper School band played and the Chamber Choir sang in the front of the entire student body and staff. Fr. Vaughn Treco blessed the ceremony and the site of the new Performing Arts Center and prayed for the construction to go smoothly.
The new center for the performing arts has been a dream for a long time and has been a major need. The performing arts programs have grown greatly since the beginning of PA and so has the need for larger facilities that will better house the performances than the small stage in the Great Room has.
“The performing arts have grown so much that the facilities in the Great Room have become inadequate,” said Headmaster Dr. Todd Flanders. “The Great Room is a place where we eat lunch and so it isn’t suitable for the level of the performing arts here at Providence.”
The facilities will include an amphitheater with a stage which will allow for productions that require a bigger space for sets and effects that the Great Room couldn’t provide.
“There are lots of productions we have been waiting to do in a larger space,” remarked Mrs, Melissa Simmons, the drama teacher at PA,“Shows that require two story sets, or theatrical effects that we can’t quite pull off in the Great Room.”
The new construction will bring some issues with the parking in that the west parking lot will be closed so that the construction workers will have access to the site. Dr. Flanders is hopeful that the construction will be over but has come to know that there can always be setbacks.
“There are always variables with weather and the speed of construction,” Dr. Flanders said, “but there is a dream to be on stage sometime next year.”
Besides the performing arts center, the fieldhouse will be the only other facility under construction which could be completed before the completion of the performing arts center. The fieldhouse should be completed before the performing arts center and will include a concession area, an indoor coffee house, male and female locker rooms, and access into the dome. So once the performing arts center has been finished, all construction in the foreseeable future will be completed.
Construction on the center began well and there were no problems with getting the city’s approval. Officials from the city of Plymouth were also present at the ceremony including Mayor Kelli Slavik who called PA a “gem” in Plymouth.
“The Mayor has the same beliefs we do,” Dr. Flanders said, “and we both believe that it [the performing arts center] will add to the beatification of Plymouth.”
The performing arts center has been a dream of many and the fact that its construction has begun has left many filled with excitement that the fine arts are getting their due at PA.
“So this [the performing arts center] has been a long time coming, but as they say, good things come to those who wait,” said Mrs. Simmons, “in short, I’m exceptionally excited to the point of being giddy!”
Charles Kral is the editor-in-chief for the PAW