Avon High School unveils long-awaited performing arts center

Avon High School is ready to use its new state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Ben Hodge, superintendent of Avon Schools, said the district is more than excited to show off the new space.

The $18.8 million project was approved by voters in November 2019 on a $0.98 million bond issue.

The inauguration of the facility took place in the spring of 2020.

“Taxpayers fully funded this, and we greatly appreciate the support,” Hodge said. “But it was not a tax increase, but it was the replacement of an old tax levy.”

Construction crews put the finishing touches on the Performing Arts Center (PAC) at Avon High School. (Aliah Kimbro — The Morning Paper)

The project was originally scheduled to end in August 2021, but was postponed due to numerous delays.

“We’ve been working on building this facility during a pandemic, having delays and waiting for different parts,” Hodge said. “There are still a few small updates that will be added and chips that we are waiting for, but we are good to go.”

The entire construction project also included renovations to Avon High School, such as new administrative offices, kitchen expansion and common areas.

As for the kitchen and common area, Hodge said the space was desperately needed.

“Before, we weren’t even close to the capacity we needed to feed 1,500 children,” he said. “Now we can accommodate another 120 children for lunch, and we are able to serve them much better.”

The new Performing Arts Center (PAC) at Avon High School will hold its first performance at the end of April. (Aliah Kimbro — The Morning Paper)

The Performing Arts Center nearly doubles the old auditorium, built in 1998, which was 7,800 square feet.

The stage is three times larger in pictures, alongside a new 1,146-square-foot removable orchestra pit to allow for larger productions, Hodge said.

“We knew our PAC kids didn’t have the facilities they needed to perform,” he said. “It’s not what they deserve for all the hard work they put in, and we try to make sure we give our students the best facilities and opportunities we can offer at Avon.”

The new Performing Arts Center (PAC) at Avon High School will hold its first performance at the end of April. (Aliah Kimbro — The Morning Paper)

The Performing Arts Center will seat more than double the original 610-seat auditorium, seating 1,600 people; the new center also has two dressings, compared to zero for the old one.

Construction was completed by Dunlop and Johnston, with Architectural Vision Group (AVG) as lead architect.

The old auditorium will remain available for use, Hodge said.

“It would have cost us an additional $2 million to remove the old auditorium, and it’s still a great facility,” he said. “It’s another opportunity for kids to put on shows and have a place to practice.”

Ben Hodge, superintendent of Avon Schools, and PAC coordinator Melissa Moyseenko gave a tour of the PAC center on April 6. (Aliah Kimbro—The Morning Journal)

The Performing Arts Center Coordinator, Melissa Moyseenko, joined us in October.

“Throughout my life, my training has been acting,” Moyseenko said. “I grew up in a family that always had a great appreciation for music, and I remember watching a production and realizing that was what I wanted to do.”

The school’s production of “The Little Mermaid” will be the first-ever performance in the new theater.

It will take place on April 29, 30 and May 1.

“Education has always been instilled in me, so it’s amazing to have this PAC for our students and to provide so much for their education in performance, technical theater and music,” said Moyseenko. . “I feel so lucky to be here and to be a part of all of this.”

She said the hope is that the space will be rented out for all kinds of productions.

“In the summer, we won’t have a lot of school productions, but we’re hoping outside community groups will come and rent the space,” Moyseenko said. “We want to make good use of it so everyone can see all the space has to offer.”

William E. Bennett