C. W. BAKER AUDITORIUM
Location: Baldwinsville, NY
Completed: Winter 2017
Construction Type: Renovation
The Baldwinsville High School Auditorium had remained relatively untouched since it was originally constructed in the 1950’s. Since that time, the makeshift catwalk in the ceiling plenum had become a safety concern due to structural integrity of the plaster ceiling, which was also laden with asbestos fibers.
Working closely with the district to resolve these health and safety concerns, a Capital Project was developed to renovate the auditorium into a 21st-centruy performing arts center. The project’s focus was to use this opportunity to improve the overall utilization of the space which serves a wide variety of purposes ranging from musical and theatrical performances to lectures and large presentations. The acoustics of the space can be modified to meet the needs of the varying performance types, optimizing the experience. The efficient design affords the ability of the space to hold an entire grade level for large presentations and seating is equipped with power and Wi-Fi technology to meet new NYS testing requirements, all improving its flexibility.
The design features a “black box” approach with exposed structure, and elevated seating to maximize sightlines, acoustical millwork panels and textured masonry finishes provide a warm and inviting atmosphere. Outside of the main body of the auditorium, storage space was reconfigured to create a ticket/student store and a flexible pre-function area which is utilized as a senior lounge during the day. The district is currently expanding its student education programs to include theater management, stage management, sound and lighting control programs making the space a teaching tool for students.