A New Stage

Zeke O'Donnell, Fine Arts Writer

Romi Johnson, senior, performs during Cabaret 2021. (Liam Bedford)

If you have ever been to a performing arts center, you may notice that Ephrata’s is not very up to code. The ceiling is falling apart, there are giant pillars that block the view of the stage, and sound doesn’t travel. It was originally built as the first Ephrata high school building, before the Annex, and the current Building. However, Last year, Ephrata passed a record-breaking bond that included renovation of Ephrata High School’s Performing Arts Center or PAC. Though the building will be the same, there are numerous upgrades to the gym and performing arts areas.

“It certainly wasn’t what we asked for,” said Ephrata High School choir director Tim O’Donnell. “But we were glad the fine arts were finally getting some attention.” All this changed when the fine arts program got an extra $8,000,000 to work with. With these funds, the demolition was set for summer 2022. “Not only would the building be better, but this would be better for all of the high schools’ programs,” said band director Jake Pierce. “Right now, the band and choir programs have to perform in gyms, but with this new building, all concerts and performances can all be done in one place.”

The new building won’t just support fine arts either. Boys basketball coach Brandon Evanson remarked, “It was always hard to work around performances because they took place in the gym, but now we won’t need to.” In any case, the new PAC will have a significant impact on the whole community not just Ephrata’s fine arts programs.