Somerset High School Performing Arts Center

Somerset, Texas

Performing arts center address community and district needs

The new Somerset ISD Performing Arts Center serves as a district community center, in addition to supporting the performing arts program for the high school. The design finds a cost-effective balance between the requirement for a large performance space and the rehearsal and education needs of drama and music students.

The design process started with a long-term planning effort to ensure the design wouldn’t limit future campus improvements and met the district’s diverse goals. The 45,000-square-foot one-story facility is centered around a 1,000-seat multipurpose auditorium and spaces for band, mariachi, drama, and dance/cheer. The facility is positioned to create separate entrances for the campus and the community, as well as usable outdoor spaces between buildings. Existing music and band spaces adjacent to the site were renovated to complement the new facility.

Flexibility is built into every aspect of the facility, with many spaces serving dual roles. The lobby also serves as a professional development center for faculty and staff and can be reconfigured for catered events and presentations. An entry plaza is designed to host food trucks, art fairs, farmers’ markets and other community events. To serve different roles, cost-effective acoustical strategies were built into the bones of the space.

The new Performing Arts Center is also an efficient building. Daylight controls, shades, LED light fixtures and minimizing conditioned space with exterior circulation will help cut operation costs.

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