Colorado Academy students, faculty, and coaches are counting down the days to February 6, 2019, when Phase II of the new Athletic Center opens. Phase I, which included the Field House, opened last March. The entire facility is part of the school’s multi-year See it Through capital campaign, which was designed to fund the renovation of some of the most heavily used structures on campus.
Already completed are the new Ponzio Arts Center, the renovated Welborn House, and Phase I of the Athletic Center. When Phase II of the Athletic Center opens, the school will have a new climbing facility, a fitness and training center, a new practice gym, a refurbished and expanded competition gym, a sports medicine center, and more.
The current Froelicher Theatre, the tall brick side of which overlooks CA’s Firman Field, was built in 1977. For a frame of reference, that was the same year that the first Star Wars movie opened in cinemas, the year that Elvis Presley died of a heart attack, and the year that the first Apple II computerswent on sale.
More than four decades later, theater and music programming, technology, and the size of the student body have all rendered the current structure obsolete. Head of School Dr. Mike Davis says, “Like the other buildings that have been part of this campaign, the theater is one of the most public spaces on our campus, where students, parents, and alumni gather, where kids learn to be both audience members and performers, and where we often join to learn together as a community. People will often say to me, ‘I can’t believe CA hasn’t built a new theater yet.’”
The school’s signature and outstanding arts education program has, in recent years, been transformed by the addition and expansion of a dance program, a theater conservatory, and courses such as “Performance Innovations,” “Acting and Scene Study,” “Children’s Theater Production and Outreach,” “Theater Practicum,” and “Directing.” The school needs a new structure to provide an appropriate and inspiring venue for classes, theatrical productions, concerts, and recitals that showcase the school’s highly successful performing arts and music programs and for an improved setting for many CA gatherings.
A new home for outstanding programs
As with the other three structures that were part of the See it Through campaign, Shears Adkins Rockmore Architects has designed the Performing Arts Center—a new structure with adequate performance and seating space, improved accessibility, effective heating and cooling, upgraded digital sound, lighting, and video equipment, and additional teaching and performance spaces. Whether it be a musical or play, a chamber or jazz concert or an instrumental recital, a dance performance or choir concert, a student-run town hall meeting or a presentation by a guest speaker, the new building will accommodate all varieties of productions.
CA is calling this final stage of the campaign the “Finale for the Performing Arts Center.” As with previous capital projects, the school is asking for the support of CA’s extended community to make the new home for performing arts a reality. Funding and naming opportunities are available, and the project is contingent upon financial backing for construction and associated endowment costs.