Auditorium Construction Rundown

Allie Hall, Staff Reporter

Robbins Auditorium at Columbus East is getting a $3.1 million remodel. The theatre will have all new seating, equipment and style. The updated sound, lighting and seats will make the viewing experience much more enjoyable. East Theatre Department Director, Kevin Welsh, had a few things to say about the new theatre design.

“It will be much more user-friendly,” Welsh said. “[It will] be a much more pleasant theatre-going experience.”

Although everyone wants to enjoy this new theatre as soon as possible, the current end date is set for early May, according to Welsh.

“The current timeline has it being done May 6, that’s an estimate,” Welsh said. “Considering the original estimate was to be done by early December, moving it out to May has been quite the change.”

By the end of May, East should have an all-new auditorium to enjoy. The auditorium will have better lighting, sound and seats.

“All of the seats will be replaced, the whole seating area,” Welsh said. “We are only losing about 50 seats.”

The auditorium was originally built before the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). According to the new ADA rules, the current slope of the floor in the auditorium is too steep. This will require that the concrete floor to be removed and replaced to match the ADA standards.

“[The top section of the auditorium was] treacherous for some people to walk on,” Welsh said.

Along with new seating, the auditorium is also getting an update to its lighting and sound systems. The lighting will be updated to LED and the sound is being almost completely replaced.

“I am excited about the lighting and sound being much more updated, which gives me the opportunity to give an education to my staff and other students doing tech side in much more modern technical theatre aspects,” Welsh said. “Once upon a time, the [tech] people were just creating sound effects backstage, but now all those sound effects are created online or downloaded and done digitally.”

By next fall, East will have its very own updated theatre. The updated auditorium will be handicap accessible to ADA standards, have better lighting, better sound and will be a much more pleasant experience for the audience.

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