Holes in the ground aren't usually newsworthy, but this dirt pit is on its way to becoming Mehlville School District's first auditorium.
The school held an official groundbreaking last month. On Wednesday, several tractors were hard at work on the construction site.
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On October 17, the board approved a contract with Wright Construction Services for a base bid of $5,134,000 to build the 20,300 square foot auditorium. With a seating capacity of 522, the auditorium will support a wide range of academic, musical, theatrical and civic events. The auditorium is expected to open in the Fall of 2013.
The state-of-the-art auditorium design includes a stage that is 40 feet deep and 44 feet wide so it can easily accommodate large choral and instrumental performances by students of all ages. There are also two locations for a programmable lighting console, video recording equipment, digital audio recording capabilities, a high output projector and a motorized on-stage projection screen.
The building will have an 1,800 square foot lobby, as well as student dressing rooms, a costume storage room and a 1,400 square foot shop used for the construction of scenery that supports theatrical and musical performances.
The project is being funded by refunds from the Certificates of Participation (COPs) that the district issued during Proposition P, the building improvement bond issue passed in 2000.