As Starlight has grown its portfolio of education programs to 11 and expanded its reach to more than 5,000 students each year, one thing hasn’t grown – the physical space needed to accommodate all those classes, camps and kids. Until now, that is!
In 2016, Starlight will introduce its new 2,700-square-foot Education Pavilion, built on the site of the original 1950 Director’s Pavilion on the theatre’s back lot. Designed by local architect GastingerWalker& and built by Mike Titus Construction, the new climate-controlled building will provide much needed space year-round for students and staff.
“Providing dedicated space and a permanent home for our programs, this new building clearly demonstrates the priority Starlight places on arts education,” said Amy Reinert, director of education and outreach. “It will foster a sense of belonging among all of our students and their families.”
Among key features of the new building are a wall of operable windows to let in natural light and fresh air; a retractable wall to divide the space into two classrooms, when needed; a full mirrored wall; bright accent colors in the interior paint scheme; energy-efficient LED lighting; a built-in projector and screen; kitchenette; and storage for props and craft materials.
To preserve some of the space’s history as one of Starlight’s primary rehearsal spaces (it was used until 2006), the original structure’s wood support columns and beams, as well as much of the pine floor, are reused in the new pavilion. “These design elements pay homage to the thousands of performers who spent many summer days and nights rehearsing on this very site,” Reinert said. “We’re honored to have these memories of Starlight’s past be part of our education programs’ future!”