By Jeffrey Cheuk ’17
Auditorium reparations and renovations are still underway, and they’ll enhance the core parts of the auditorium.
Mr. Michael McDonnell, the principal, said they’re fixing the lighting, sound system, and chairs in the auditorium.
News of the auditorium repairs were announced as far back as October. The project began last summer, and it’s still going. Everything is expected to be finished by September.
“Well, it’s [auditorium upgrades] sort of still going on,” said Mr. McDonnell. “A lot of it is finished already.”
Unfortunately, the improvements are on a strict time schedule. The auditorium can only be tended to after school hours. Luckily, this does include breaks and weekends.
“The lights are already done,” said Mr. McDonnell. “They’ve been installed and converted to LED lights.”
They changed the lights on the stage in the auditorium, not the ones on the ceiling. Though, when it comes to performances, the improved lighting and dimming on the stage helps more than the lighting up top because they’ll be turned off during shows.
“The sound system is in the final stages of repairs,” said Mr. McDonnell.
The audio board is already outdated with technology that’s over 5 years old. However, there have been some small upgrades to it like the addition of an iPod dock and a wireless control system.
While the lights and sound systems are racing to the finish line, the chairs are still lagging behind.
“The chairs will be replaced all at once,” said Mr. McDonnell. “It’s better to do this than just replace five broken chairs at a time.”
This way, they can take care of all the chairs with ripped velvet and missing armrests in one fell swoop. Even so, that doesn’t mean they won’t temporarily replace chairs that look like a monster tore through them.
Although the plan is solid, the schedule is even tighter for chairs than they are for the lights and sound system. The chairs will all be replaced in the summer, when there are less people in the school.
Amr Alsahqani ’17, said “It’s better this way because we [students] won’t be in their [workers] way when they’re working and they won’t be in our way when we’re learning.”
By the time everything is done, the auditorium will look good as new.
Mr. McDonnell said, “The new chairs are a different brand. The old chairs weren’t even meant for high school students. I think they were from an opera or something.”
All these reparations and improvements would have cost the school upwards of $400,000. The chairs took up most of the expenses; they were $350,000. Fortunately, the school didn’t have to pay even a penny; local politicians and officials paid for everything.
Mr. McDonnell said, “We’re doing this to make it a better experience for people watching shows.”
Other than the fact that all this is free, the school is doing this to improve the quality of performances like the Midwood SING and the Battle of the Chori.
Harry Ching ’17 said, “I don’t go to watch shows in the auditorium, but it’s obvious that better seats, lights, and sound quality will make shows better.”
While the visuals and audio in the auditorium will be improved, one problem still remains.
“It can get so hot in there [auditorium],” said Ching. “I don’t want to be drenched in sweat when I’m talking to my friends.”
Sinan Taylan ’17 said, “That’s why I don’t usually go to the auditorium. It’s just too stuffy in there sometimes.”
Though the temperature is an issue, there are still other improvements that some students want.
Hashim Nadeem ’17 said, “I don’t know about anyone else, but I want carpets. They do two things at once. Not only will the auditorium look better, but the sound quality will be better too.”