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ConVal’s new performing arts building starts taking shape 

  • The ConVal school board met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, April 18. (Abby Kessler/ The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript)  Abby Kessler—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Speculative renderings provide the community with a glimpse into what the inside of a multi-million dollar performing arts center at ConVal High School could look like. Courtesy photo—

  • Speculative renderings provide the community with a glimpse into what the inside of a multi-million dollar performing arts center at ConVal High School could look like. CouRtesy IMAGE



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Two members involved in the ConVal Visual and Performing Arts Center, or VPAC, updated the school board about a multi-million dollar theater at the high school during a regular meeting Tuesday night. 

“The real vision is to provide a new center, a new magnet that will support arts and education in a way that will really provide the kids who study music a proper venue for that, kids who are interested in theater it will provide a proper venue for that, and it will also be a magnet for the communities to come and use,” said VPAC President Robert Eichler.

He said the building would both act as an educational and community theater.

The organization, also known as Fill the Void, is attempting to bring the project to fruition entirely through private funds. Vice President Bob Edwards said he would like to raise about $10 million, although a financial feasibility is currently underway and it’s not entirely clear yet how much the building will cost.

Edwards said the board has completed about two thirds of their interviews with potential private key donors. At this time, he said, they are looking to expand those interviews to include corporate industries to gauge their level of interest. The board is also raising funds through events such as the Black Fly Story Hour, a storytelling event that is a spinoff of the Moth Radio Hour.

The group has unveiled speculative renderings of the interior and exterior of the building, and performed a geophysical study on the ground where they are planning to construct the theater.

Eichler said the renderings of the exterior of the theater are preliminary and were drafted because “it’s difficult to sell a hole in the ground.” The interior drawings are the result of more homework, where there will be about 500 seats, a large stage, dressing rooms, space for fine-arts exhibitions, and will be acoustically correct.

“We had a long roster of things we had to fit, and all the jigsaw puzzles fit,” Eichler said.

Edwards said once the results of the financial-feasibility study are in, the board will schedule a retreat and develop a strategy on how it will move forward.

“For me, again, I would really like to be calling ‘curtains up,’ but we really have to build a place first,” Eichler told the board.

Other News

Three student directed short films moved on to the next round of the New Hampshire High School Short Film Festival. “Donkumentary” a 3:26-minute film created by Emily Bailey, Kaelie Huard, Talia Rokes; “The Life of Stephen Dominko” a 7-minute film created by Carly Storro; and “We are Here” a 4:56-minute film created by Felix Aran Smith and Morgaine O'Connor, were all selected to move on. The films will be shown on Saturday, May 20 at the Red River Theater in Concord at noon.