Upcoming Updates: Auditorium Renovation


That’s a wrap! The final performance in the old auditorium before the renovation.

To cap off the spending of Chelsea High School’s 80 million dollar bond, the high school’s auditorium will be getting a complete makeover. After years of concerns about safety and overall outdated technology, the auditorium will be gutted and brought back to life. 

“We’re stripping out a lot of the guts,” Assistant Principal Dr Luman Strong said. “It’s getting new seats, new carpeting and new paint. There will also be a new sound system, lighting and electrical system. It’s a huge renovation. But you might not notice huge differences. But there are some huge things that are going on behind walls as well too.” 

Strong went on to explain how the white shell wall used during music performances is being replaced. This allows for an overall better experience for performers and audience members at future music concerts. 

“The bandshell is that large curved wall in the back,” Strong said. “It looks nice, but it also directs sound out to the auditorium. That thing is on its last leg. It should be able to come down, fold it up and move off to the side. It’s just it’s not functioning as it should. So there’s a little bit of a safety issue there.”

The bandshell is not the only safety concern with the auditorium. For years the auditorium managers have expressed safety concerns with the lack of lighting in the aisleways. 

“When you walk down the aisles in the dark during a performance, there should be lights on the stairs, and some of those lights have burned out so we need to replace them,” Strong said. “The lights up in the ceiling, they don’t even make the light bulbs for those anymore. So we cannot even replace those lights. So those have to be completely replaced with new lights.”

Along with the addition of new lights, there will be a completely new sound system in place. This system will have a major impact on the quality of Chelsea’s future performances. 

“The actual acoustics aren’t great right now,” Strong said. “If you look at the speakers, they are just kind of handmade and not performance grade. Everything is original to the building. For a soundboard, 25 years is a long time. Think about how technology has changed over the years. The new equipment is going to actually enhance the performances.”

This renovation is part of the 80 million dollar bond the school received back in 2019. The bond has been used to create the new auxiliary gym, weight room, enhance our library, and now a final project: auditorium renovations.

The renovation will begin a few weeks after school ends in June and finish around October. Once complete, the theater and music programs in Chelsea can expand and excel more than ever before.