By Ellie Halverson
The need for an auditorium has been brought up and debated in Spring Grove for years. Whether it be by the school or the community, many people would agree that having an auditorium would benefit many crowds in the Spring Grove area.
The school is the first place that would greatly benefit from having an auditorium, due to the mass amounts of school events that could be held there. Currently, all choir and band concerts are held in one of the two gyms. Although they are making do with what they have access to, the acoustics aren’t great in either of the locations. If Spring Grove’s talented choir and band each had the opportunity to perform in an auditorium that is made to have strong acoustics, it would properly showcase all the efforts they put into sounding great.
Another group that would benefit from better acoustics is Spring Grove High School’s theater program. Currently, all their shows are performed on the stage in the game gym. The sound system currently used there isn’t ideal for being heard while acting or singing on stage. With an auditorium that has an adequate sound system and mics, the actors would be heard clearer and louder with less echo. The theater department would also benefit from the larger stage an auditorium would offer. There would be significantly more backstage room for props and set pieces, as well as on-stage room for a more elaborate set.
Many school events could be held in an auditorium, such as graduation, National Honor Society induction, the Academic Excellence awards ceremony, the Grand March during prom, and many other events as well. Holding these special events in an auditorium rather than a gym may make them feel classier. Also, every time there is an event held in the gym, the custodians must set up and take down hundreds of foldable chairs. This hassle would be completely erased if there was an auditorium in Spring Grove.
As of now, most school events are held in the gym. This doesn’t always work out well because there are so many groups that need to use that space. Between practices for sports or games, play practice, band and choir concerts, and other school events, trying to hold them all in the same place is difficult. The gym is constantly on a tight schedule of who can use it and when. If there was an auditorium in Spring Grove, the gym could be reserved for just practice for sports or games. Each group could have its specific environment, instead of having to attempt to cram everyone in the same space.
Not only would the school benefit from an auditorium, but the community could use it as well. Although Ye Olde Opera House has charm to it, its seating and stage area are both very small. If the Opera House wished to, they could use the auditorium for their performances as well as the school. This would offer the same benefits as it would the school’s theater program: more onstage and backstage room, better sound system and acoustics, and permanent seating that wouldn’t need to be set up and taken down every time there was a performance. Some events that are currently held at the Fest building would be better suited in an auditorium, such as when bands come to play, Veterans Day services, etc. Individual people or groups could rent the auditorium as well, to be used for fundraisers or independent shows.
Overall, the community of Spring Grove would greatly benefit from an auditorium and building one should be taken into greater consideration. It has been talked about before, such as when it got mentioned in the plan for “Spring Grove 2030.” Since then, there’s been little to no public conversation about it. The public needs to voice their opinions as well to get the ball rolling on this project.
Ellie Halverson is a student at Spring Grove High School. She is one of 17 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 24th year.