Marquardt School District 15 Dedicates Performing Arts Center
One campus, many talents: “wondrous” new multifunctional facility unites disciplines, connects campus, and gives every student a leg up with new opportunities and experiences
[Glendale Heights, IL] – Yesterday evening, Marquardt School District 15 hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Performing Arts Center at Marquardt Middle School. Construction started in September of last year.
A crowd of over 150 included students, parents, staff, alumni, board members, local dignitaries, and architecture/engineering/construction team members.
The event began with self-guided tours of the facility that Board President Jean Randazzo called “wondrous.” Kids had fun hitting a gong in the orchestra room, and parents learned about the multidisciplinary projects happening in the STEAM labs.
Attendees gathered just outside the auditorium for the official ribbon cutting. Then dramatic music streamed from the sophisticated sound system as guests were ushered into the auditorium. A vibrant blue curtain set the backdrop for speakers including Marquardt School District 15 Superintendent Dr. Jerry O’Shea, Board President Jean Randazzo, Marquardt Middle School Principal Meredith Haugens, and Patrick Brosnan, president/CEO of Legat Architects.
Dr. O’Shea said, “This performing arts center and its STEAM integrated labs will provide educational opportunities for the community’s children, not just for today but for generations to come.”
The 33,000-square-foot facility designed by Legat Architects (in conjunction with Slingshot Architecture) and built by IHC Construction Companies, features the 500-seat auditorium with LED lights and advanced audio-visual systems.
“The Marquardt PAC is designed for innovation and performance, and it’s designed for community celebration,” said Patrick Brosnan. “Its terra cotta wall is a beacon to invite students, parents, and the community to participate.”
Disciplines unite in all-new STEAM (i.e., science, technology, engineering, arts, math) labs. In these open spaces, students work on self-directed projects that help them build the collaboration and problem-solving skills that will give them a competitive edge.
“We envisioned a space that would be inspirational and state-of-the-art,” said Jean Randazzo. “Classrooms would not only have tools and technology that would encourage application of learning and an authentic performance experience, but would also aid our students in finding new and exciting possibilities for their future.”
The Performing Arts Center includes rooms for art, choir, orchestra, and for the first time, drama. The district has even redesigned its curriculum so that all students will experience the fine arts in the facility.
The Performing Arts Center also connects the sixth and seventh/eighth grade buildings to create a unified campus—sixth graders no longer have to walk outside in mid-winter to get to the commons for lunch.
Merideth Haugens concluded the ceremony by recounting the school’s achievement of a true middle school philosophy. She said, “When I look at what we are celebrating here tonight, it is not only that we built this beautiful, state-of-the-art performing arts center, but it is also about celebrating the fact that we have built a true middle school experience to match the quality of this facility.”
The event concluded with hors d’oeuvres and refreshments in the commons, where the Marquardt Middle School jazz band and music teachers entertained the guests.
View more images of the Performing Arts Center ribbon cutting.
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