The community invited to preview the new performing arts center

On Wednesday morning, Ardmore City Schools invited the public to tour the construction site of the upcoming Jerome Westheimer Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Ardmore High School. When complete, the facility which began in June 2020 will include state-of-the-art equipment and 800 seats.

Several students also had the opportunity to take the tour, and AHS Deputy Director of Fine Arts and group director Chauvin Aaron said he was delighted to give everyone the opportunity to see the progress made.

“It’s been a great opportunity for the community and our students to see that we’re making progress,” Aaron said. “One of the things we teach our children is the importance of progressing, and this building shows that you can start from an empty field and eventually have a fantastic performing arts center. everyone the importance of the trip.”

The students visit the catwalk above the stage.

While one of the uses for the facility will be to host various concerts, musicals and school assemblies, it will also be available for public hire for a wide range of events.

“I think the only limit with this setup is our imagination,” Aaron said. “I really want to see the community use all it has to offer. There could be weddings, banquets, and we’re hoping professional touring companies will present traveling musicals. This facility will be able to support that. .”

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Funding for the construction was provided by a $44 million bond issue passed in April 2018, which also included a new gymnasium at Jefferson Elementary, renovations at Ardmore High School, and district vehicles. Additional funding came from a $4 million grant from the Westheimer Foundation.

Construction machinery occupies the space that will one day be occupied by seats.  Construction is expected to be completed in October.

Ardmore Mayor Sheryl Ellis made the rounds and she said Ardmore voters who have embraced the bond issue should be proud of their support.

“It’s so important to all of our art and music students, and the excellent facility they will have here to hone their craft will provide them with valuable experience for their adult lives,” Ellis said. “This is a wonderful building for the town of Ardmore, and I think those who voted to bond for this building should be beyond thrilled that we were able to bring such a wonderful facility to the town.”

The view from the balcony overlooking the stage.

Construction of the facility is expected to be completed in October.