Interest is mounting for construction of a new fine arts center at Arrowhead High School. The district’s current theater seats only 450 people for a school with a student body of nearly 2,300.
The facility is clearly too small.
The Arrowhead Facilities Community Task Force has been studying the idea of a new theater and other district facility projects. It is getting close to presenting the fine arts proposal to the full school board. One recommendation is to build a new fine arts center and restructure existing auditorium space for traditional classrooms.
Meanwhile, the well established Arrowhead Center for the Arts Task Force is ready to begin private money raising efforts for a new standalone fine arts center. Pending school board approval, the ACA hopes to raise $1.5 million toward the project.
The proposed facility will include a large theater, a scene shop, dressing rooms, storage, and art gallery for student artworks.
The district had hired Eppstein Uhen Architects Inc., Milwaukee, last July to provide architectural services for a variety of school projects, including a larger auditorium. Perhaps the architect will become involved with the fine arts project as well.
In recent years, the Elmbrook School District of Brookfield had alleviated space problems with the construction of the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Fine Arts. Constructed in 2000, Elmbrook occasionally leases the center for school events. The center is owned by Elmbrook Center for the Arts.
In 2007, Oconomowoc High School completed a 750-seat auditorium addition at the school’s north end.
With a five-star rating and ongoing growth in the Arrowhead District, it appears to be only a matter of time before space needs become critical.
Theater enthusiast Keith Barber is a data reporter at The Daily Reporter.