Fine Arts Expansion Coming to a Close


Photo by Joe Sullivan

On June 2, 2019 the H-F board approved a $13,987,495 construction plan that includes a black box theatre and a whole new wing for the music programs. The construction will be completed in the next two weeks. 

With only days away from the completion, the addition looks very promising. H-F Superintendent Von Mansfield, has been all for the expansion since the idea was first brought up. 

“The ultimate goal was to give our fine arts students and teachers the best possible resources that include cutting edge technology and state of the art spaces to not only enhance the program for our staff and students but for our community to enjoy our students’ amazing creativity, works of art and performances,” Mansfield said.

For years, the H-F theatre program has been performing plays and musicals on the main stage in the South Auditorium. Now, students will have the opportunity to perform in productions in a black box theatre.

Fine Arts teacher and Theatre Director J.R Rose, is very relieved with the change of scenery.

“The idea of creating a black box theatre has been in the works for over 12 years now trying to get a new space to free up space in the auditorium and allow theatre students to work in different environments,” Rose said.

In addition to the theatre, there will be new dressing rooms, a new lobby area, a new control booth and more shop space for building and storage.

Although the H-F theatre program has consistently been one of the top theatre programs in the state, competing at state every year, winning state in 2018 for group interpretation and producing all state actors year after year, Rose wants to take it to the next level.

“The new spaces and theatre are very important when it comes to giving more opportunities for our students,” Rose said. “This space will help our actors and tech students work in different types of spaces and create performances that are closer to mirror what college and professional theatres may offer.”

The theatre is not the only thing that has been added in the expansion. The music department now has new classroom spaces, with audio-visual and recording equipment, new practice facilities, small ensemble rooms, and an abundance of storage for large instruments and equipment.

Steve Sifner is in his second year as the choir director at H-F. As a former H-F student, Sifner has a lot of experience with the fine arts programs at H-F and is thrilled for the expansion.

“With all of the students enrolled in our many music classes, we did not have adequate space for all the different groups of music students to take private lessons, work on small ensemble music, participate in sectionals, and work in practice rooms at the same time,” Sifner said. “This new expansion provides us with beautiful facilities to accommodate many students with all kinds of interests at the same time, which is huge!”

With staff and students eager to go back to work in the new wing, the overall expansion looks to be a huge success for the fine arts program.

“The project is on time and on budget,” Mansfield said. “I am happy to report that we were able to meet the needs of our students and staff with facilities that will positively impact teaching and learning.”