By: Stacey Axler
Many Hood students are unaware of the existence of Price Auditorium, the usually empty facility located in Tatem Arts Center.
Recently, the Hood College Theatre Department along with Hood College Facilities has been working to renovate Price.
“I’m so glad Price is being renovated, it looks like such a good performance space,” junior and president of Hood College Student Musical Theatre Ashley Birdsell said.
The renovations to Price include removing two rows of seats from the first level of the audience seating, extending the stage by several feet, and performing modifications to the HVAC system in the auditorium.
The renovations to Price correspond to the extended closing of the Avalon Performing Arts Center Blackbox theatre in the basement of Tatem.
Avalon closed earlier last semester as a result of mold abatement occurring in the performance space.
Avalon will remain closed until spring break, which is when the air of the theatre will be tested to determine if it is safe for student use.
“We did not want the lack of a facility to prevent theatrical rehearsals and programs this semester. Accordingly, the provost recommended renovating Price Auditorium to serve as a temporary “Black Box” Theatre until Avalon can be reopened,” said Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Chuck Mann.
Price now serves as a rehearsal and performance space for the theatre department and various theatre groups on campus.
The renovations to Price were not costly, according to Mann.
“Overall, the cost of the work is minimal and, consequently, the project is being funded by the capital budget which included funding for classroom renovations,” Mann said.
Price Auditorium has been dormant for several years. Earlier last year, the space was closed to remove asbestos that was found in the auditorium.
“Price is now a really good space to use for performances and hopefully other campus events as well,” said Birdsell.