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Performing Arts and Athletic Centers
Gym and Theater Construction
CONSTRUCTION UPDATE FOR OUR DONORS
Here’s an update of the exciting and historic construction of the new gym and theater on the upper school campus. Enjoy!
Message from the Head
I hope you and your family had an enjoyable and restful holiday break. While we were away, work continued as planned on the new gym and theater. With the structural beams in place for the gym, the building is taking shape, and it’s gratifying to see it resembling the conceptual drawings we’ve been working with for the last couple of years.

May the new year bring joy and well-being to your family. It will also bring a new gym and theater for our students. Thank you for your part in making it happen.

Chris Nikoloff
Head of School
Construction Video Cover
Watch this Video

 

Behind the scenes
This month’s behind-the-scenes video shows major progress! With time-lapse photography and regular coverage we will continue to share photos, videos, drawings and more to update you on this historic project!
Dr. Patil signing the beam

 

Beam signing celebrates donors
Earlier this month, donors to the capital campaign who qualified for a naming opportunity attended a ceremony where they were invited to write their names on a 500-pound steel beam that will go into the new theater. More than 200 guests were at the luncheon and the evening reception, and special guests at lunch included Suhas and Jayashree Patil, P’02 and current grandparents of Harker students Veyd ’24 and Samaara ’27. The Patils were the first major benefactors to our capital campaign for this project, and the theater within the performing arts center will be named in their honor.
Feature: Stage and Theater
Since the launch of the upper school in 1998, K-12 director of performing arts Laura Lang-Ree and her team of teachers have “made do” with the facilities they had.

 

First, all performances across genres were held in the old gym at the Saratoga campus. Then, they did the same at the theater/cafeteria at the Blackford campus. When our performing arts programs outgrew these venues, they traveled across town to an off-campus theater for concert performances.

These facilities have been extremely limiting, as the spaces were not designed for performances, rehearsals or large groups of student performers, and they are not acoustically appropriate for any form of performance. The small stage and no backstage space at Blackford meant that some shows could simply not be produced. Additionally, the audience experience was never ideal due to the use of temporary folding chairs, a non-sloped floor leading to the stage, and the absence of sound support which made it challenging to hear student actors and ensembles. Traveling across town to perform meant that our instrumentalists and vocalists could not rehearse ahead of time in their performance space, something that is essential in creating high-level rehearsal and performance experiences for both the students and the audience.

The new theater will usher in a new era in our performing arts programs. The larger stage will allow for a wider variety of performances, with larger groups of students participating. State-of-the-art acoustics will mean that our vocalists, instrumentalists and actors will be heard clearly, cleanly and beautifully. The audience experience will be comfortable and enjoyable as never before. The performing arts teachers and students could not be more excited about the opening of the performing arts center, as it will create a whole new experience for the entire community!
How to help
We are grateful for your participation in this project. Yet we still need additional support to complete the construction. If you are interested in increasing your support, please contact Joe Rosenthal, executive director of advancement, at joe.rosenthal@harker.org. You can also help by encouraging your fellow community members to join you in supporting the project.
Learn more about the campaign
For more information about our current campaign, please visit our webpage.

 

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