SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A $22.4 million renovation and expansion project at Kickapoo High School is now finished with the completion of a new auditorium.
"It's got all the whistles and bells of anything you could possibly imagine for a performing arts center," said principal Kelly Allison.
The auditorium is the final step of the renovation and expansion project approved by voters through a bond issue in 2013.
"We are very excited about being able to bring the community in and use it for different events and really to showcase all the talent of our young people here at Kickapoo High School whether it's our orchestra, our vocal music, or band," Allison said.
Allison says about a third of the student population is involved in performing arts in some way.
"So, it has a huge impact on our school and as a culture, building those positive experiences for kids while they're at school," she said.
The state-of-the-art auditorium seats 900 people. That's 200 more than the previous facility and about half of the student population. However, not only does it enhance the performing arts department, it's also a safe place during severe weather.
"It is a FEMA structure, so it's going to provide a great place for us to shelter during the school day and it also provides an opportunity for the community to come in," Allison said.
He says they're ready to share their shows and safety with the Springfield area.
"We are very proud of this facility and it's really a celebration for the community," Allison said.
Kickapoo High School theater is having a grand opening performance with The Wings of Swing Big Band featuring performances by KHS alumni including actress Kim Crosby on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m. Adult tickets are $12 and students are $6.