Enhancing the arts is the target as construction continues on the South Pasadena Middle School Old Gymnasium Rehabilitation Project.
Workers are turning the old gym on campus into a black box theater, visual arts room, and a flex lab – repurposing a building with a long history while maintaining its historical significance.
Steady progress is being made on both the interior and exterior of the building, say South Pasadena Unified School District officials who add that the estimated completion date will land sometime in late November 2020.
“On the exterior, we started underground waterproofing of the basement walls and continued to plaster the North and East faces,” reads a statement issued by the district. “The finish plaster is helping the building to take on its new appearance.”
On the inside of the building, “we’ve been testing our water, air, electrical and sprinkler systems,” continues the statement. “As these each pass inspection, and with thermal insulation already in place, we’ve been closing up walls with drywall. As we drywall the interior, we’ll move into the ‘finish’ stage of construction.”
Along with the black box theatre – a darkened performance space with audience interaction that varies in size in a square room – the finished product will also feature a flex lab to support STEM programs and an arts room.
The theatre portion will provide flexible seating for audience members, allowing for a variety of different configurations. Performances might be held as theatre-in-the-round or in a traditional seating arrangement. Space will be used for everything from lectures to dance performance where only basic technical arrangements are required.
The project is scheduled for completion soon at an approximate cost of $13 million and is being funded through a $98 million bond measure approved by South Pasadena voters.