Final touches put on NHS event space

Lucy Buller, Reporter

In early April, the process of renovating the NHS auditorium began. The rows of chairs, which most needed replacing, were removed from the room and the walls were stripped of their carpeting. 

Eight months after renovations started, the refurbished auditorium is in sight. According to Chris Schaeffer, the USD 373 district maintenance director, replacing the auditorium chairs was part of the District Capital Outlay five year plan while the ceiling and wall renovations were simply more convenient without the chairs in the way. 

Lucy Buller

“Many of them [the chairs] are broken and we can no longer get parts for them and they are unsafe,” Schaeffer said. “The room will also get repainted, the wood on the stage front and some parts of the stage floor will be replaced. We have some spots that need maintenance and while the room is out of commission is the best time to do these repairs. Stairs to the stage and pit will be replaced with new stationary ones that are safer and meet modern code.”

To save money on energy in the future, the lights above the auditorium seats were also replaced with LED lights. Everything in the auditorium besides a few minor changes backstage was original from 1973, so renovations were very necessary to keep the space hazard free and safe to perform in. According to principal Caleb Smith, the seats and new sound panels have taken many months to arrive, part of the reason why the auditorium took so long to be finished.

Lucy Buller

“The COVID supplies delays and shortages were the single reason it took so long,” Smith said. “We have a new curtain, rebuilt stage and pit, new paint job, new seats, new carpet, new sound/lights booth and they ran wiring through the concrete from the stage to the light booth. We will also be getting a new projector next summer.”