Newtown High School Auditorium
Sandy Hook, Connecticut

This auditorium has served the Newtown community and the robust performing arts programs of Newtown Public Schools since 1970. A 1990s renovation improved accessibility and egress, but few other improvements were made over the auditorium’s 45-year life, and its condition grew increasingly poor. Working with the architect, we created parterre seating areas at the rear and sides of the room and reseated the auditorium. These changes improved sightlines and patron comfort, provided ready access to the stage for wheelchair users, and made the room more supportive of young performers. The seat count—which in 1970 was over 1,200—was reduced to 950. We collaborated with the mechanical and structural engineers to relocate HVAC equipment from the stagehouse and provide steel to support new theater rigging. Other improvements include upgraded lighting controls, a reworked lighting catwalk, and a new control room and followspot platform.

Institution
Town of Newtown

Location
Sandy Hook, Connecticut

Architect
Smith Edwards McCoy

Acoustician
JaffeHolden

Construction Manager
Newfield Construction

Construction Type
Renovation

Square Feet
13,700

Spaces
950-seat multipurpose theater

Cost
$3.75 million

Completion
2017

Photos: © Carl Vernlund