Gilmour plans to replace the Fine Arts Building (FAB) with a brand new Dodero Performing Arts Center (PAC). Construction is expected to begin by the spring of 2016 and will take a total of 16 months to complete.
That means the class of 2018could be the first to use it. It will be located in the same spot as the current FAB, and it will bring a completely new look to the campus. It will be 31,600 square feet, which is over twice the size of the current FAB.
There will be many new additions including a dance center, two stages (one for practicing, one for performances), and classrooms inside, amongst many new changes. The decision to build the new PAC was sparked by a $5 million donation by the Dodero family, parents of Corinne (`02). With this new facility, the Academy will be able to offer students much more in terms of education related to the arts. Many students today agree that this is exciting.
Veteran “extemper,” and state qualifier for Speech and Debate, Ron Ryavec (`16) said, “It will be great for Gilmour, and it will really impact the look of the campus.”
It is also expected that these new additions will improve participation in the performing arts and will progress the already well-established speech and debate program, by allowing students to perform in an advanced setting.
Ryavec said, “The new PAC will really move Gilmour into the 21st Century.” Including the Athletic Center, the Classroom Building, and the Chapel, most of Gilmour’s buildings will have either been built or renovated since the year 2000.
Mrs. Gay Janis, Ms. Bonnie O’Leary, and Mr. Matt Greenfield have all made significant use of the current FAB. These uses range from traditional Broadway plays to Live Jive and Open Mic nights. Mrs. Janis, Director of Speech and Drama, said, “My favorite play that I put on was ‘A Piece About War,’ which was 12 years ago. I loved it because it had substance.” She feels that with the addition of a new stage, new lights, and a crisp sound system, new productions will be “surreal.”
Janis said, “I’m excited about the new PAC. I feel that it will greatly improve the performing arts programs at Gilmour! It will allow for a greater variety of pieces, and will make the audience and performers more comfortable.”
Given all the memories made in the current FAB, students are excited about the new experiences that the new PAC will afford. Shaya Puglia (`15) has performed at Live Jive and plans to study music in college. She said, “Having a larger performance space and backstage area will make it much easier for students to rehearse and perform.”