Performing arts students: never fear, a new auditorium is here A new project is in the works to give students a larger auditorium and more classrooms


Hailey Le Roy, Editor-in-Chief

  After having the same auditorium since the school’s opening for almost two decades, Newsome’s artistic space is getting revamped with a $9 million budget. The news comes after many years with a broken air conditioning, inadequate space and little-to-no storage room.

   The plan is to have the project completed by the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year, so this year’s freshman and sophomores should prepare to see this project come to fruition.

   Those running the project sought the public’s opinion to gauge their needs with a meeting open to all. Passionate students and teachers alike attended, sharing a variety of experiences they have had inside the current art space. By the end, a general consensus was reached: in addition to a nicer auditorium, students and teachers are in desperate need of more classroom space.

   Some performing arts programs currently teach their classes inside the auditorium, like Orchestra. Additionally, many of their instruments are currently stored on the stage, inconveniencing both Orchestra’s rehearsal itself and the rehearsal of other programs like Theatre. A new space will allow those students to learn and prepare their music in a different space from where they perform. 

   Each time an event happens in the auditorium, students must clear the items that are stored on the stage, leading to clutter in the wings. A new building would also account for the rapid expansion Newsome’s music programs have undergone over the last few years.

      For a school with over 3,500 students, one could argue that the original 600-seat performance space is not nearly enough. Considering the size of Newsome’s ever-growing arts programs, this change seems like a long time coming.

   By completely redesigning a new auditorium rather than merely renovating it, architects and builders are giving students the chance to fully showcase their talent, as many advocated during the meeting that a brand new space is necessary. 

   Miranda Stewart, one of Newsome’s choir directors, says this auditorium will bring a “sense of belonging for all arts classes.” She emphasizes the importance of students “[feeling] that there’s value in the things that they love and have a passion for.”

   Stewart says this decision to renovated exemplifies how the arts programs are coveted in the FishHawk community, “I our administration supporting [the arts] and our county supporting [the arts] is a really positive thing that we’re all extremely excited for.”

   This space is not just being designed with Newsome students and faculty in mind, though. Using other high schools as a reference, a plan is now being created to make the new auditorium a multipurpose space for all members of the FishHawk community.

   As Stewart puts, many kids do not even get an opportunity to use an auditorium throughout their learning process, being forced to use a “cafeteria stage” in the lunchroom. The hope is that this space will unify all the music programs in this area and give all local students a chance to thrive, no matter where they come from.

  She notes that this new space is a “further reflection of Newsome” by supporting surrounding schools that are also in need of a better performing space.