Hoover school and city officials participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new $15.4 million performing arts center at Hoover High School. (Photo courtesy of Sherea Harris-Turner/Hoover City Schools)
In the Birmingham, Ala., suburb of Hoover, school and city officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Sept. 29 for a new $15.4 million performing arts center at Hoover High School.
Dozens of people gathered at the site of the future 36,000-sq.-ft. facility, which is being built right next to the new band room at the school, near Buccaneer Stadium, the Hoover Sun reported, which added that the project should be finished in 2024.
A hallway will connect the band room to the performing arts center that will feature a 940-seat auditorium, a full theatrical lighting and sound package, and an on-site scene construction workshop, among other amenities.
The current theater at Hoover High seats 270 people, which theater supporters say is much smaller than those at other large schools in Alabama and not big enough to accommodate the crowds that Hoover fine arts performances would likely draw.
School officials told the Sun that they would like to have an auditorium that seats a full grade level at the high school, which currently has an enrollment of approximately 2,900 students.
In addition, the local news source learned from school sources that 47 percent of the students at Hoover High are involved in fine arts programs.
"The community is excited about it, and our students are excited," Hoover High Principal John Montgomery said in a press release. "This is something they've needed for a long time. Our kids are great performers. They win national and state competitions, but they don't have a place here to perform, so for us to have a first-class facility for them to perform in for the community is going to be such a blessing."
Dalton Dismukes, a performing arts student at Hoover High, said that having the new center that showcases the hard work he and his fellow students put in will be such a gift.
"We've had to perform our band concerts in gyms [and] we've had to find churches that would allow us to use their space to perform concerts, and now to have a center specifically for these performances will be such a wonderful opportunity," Dismukes said.
The Sun noted that Trussville, Ala.'s Blalock Building Co. won the contract to build the center on Aug. 1.
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