$8 Million performing arts center debuts Saturday - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

$8-Million Performing Arts Center to Debut

$8 Million performing arts center debuts Saturday

The building was funded through a taxpayers bond issue. (Photo source: WLOX News) The building was funded through a taxpayers bond issue. (Photo source: WLOX News)

Hancock County School District Performing Arts Center Director Kathy Tibbs spent Friday putting the finishing touches on the lobby furnishing in preparation for Saturday's grand opening.

It's the day the curtains will rise on the 25,000 square-foot, $8.3 million center.

"The students here at Hancock really love it. There's no one who isn't excited about it," said 11th grader Lucinda Roberts.

Roberts says she's most impressed with the large auditorium that seats up to 850 people, and the 500 foot wide orchestra pit.

"We can hold things we use to not be able to hold down here. It's a very, very nice building. It's impressive for anyone who has experience with performing arts," explained Roberts. 

Experts from all over were brought in to design the building.

"Consultants and experts who build these buildings, who build these stages and sound system around the country," said Tibbs. 

Behind the stage is a large room to build and store props.  

"To have something like this in our county, just absolutely thrilling and exciting," said parent volunteer Korrie Sabbagh.

The dressing rooms are state of the art as well. Each have TV monitors that shows a picture of the stage. The monitors let the performers know when they are up next.
 
The building was funded through a taxpayers bond issue, which is why school leaders say the doors to the Arts Center will be open for community use.

Tibbs noted, "In the spring we're bringing in an actor from the 1950's Bobby Rydell, and in the fall we're looking to have some orchestras come in." 

There will be full day of activities on the Hancock High School campus Saturday during the grand opening celebration.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 10:00 am, followed by theatrical and high school band performances all day.

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