Story by Caleb Albert
Growing up in Southern Indiana, JHS students have grown accustomed to construction: the roundabouts on 10th Street, the growth of the River Ridge area and plans for the new bridges have all taken place within the last half-decade.
But renovation is not just held to community members around Jeffersonville — students in the high school are now feeling the squeeze.
Just this past year, JHS students have seen a renovation to Johnson Arena, the addition of the WJHI radio/TV room, and an update to the swimming pool, all of which have taken place on one side of the same hallway. The entire other side of the hallway, though, has remained untouched.
However, all of that is about to change.
On the other side of JHS Main Street is the auditorium, which currently seats 900 people. The limited seating has been a problem for the ever-growing theater, choir, and band programs, which have been honored on a state, national and international level.
During the winter season each year, the combined choir and band “Winter Fantasy” concert series sees sold-out shows, with the groups performing as many as two times each day, for an entire school week. The music department anticipates the tradition to continue this year as well.
A newly renovated auditorium is anticipated to bring in more students that want to be involved in performing arts.
Austin Smith, a freshman in chamber choir, said, “the renovated auditorium will bring new life to all of the performing arts. People like new things, so there will probably be more people getting involved in the performing arts soon.”
The band program, specifically, is hopeful for the renovation, because it will add benefits, without any trade offs.
“They’re not doing anything to the acoustics, and it’ll be more pleasing to people who come in,” senior Josh McCorkle said.
Also, along with the update to the seat capacity, the seats themselves will be updated, a change that pleases senior band member Andrew Gustafson
“We also won’t have all the squeaking when people stand up,” Gustafson said. Currently, any movement in the seats leads to squeaking, which creates a distraction for choir, band, and theater members performing.
Although there are so many people being exposed to the culture and expression of Jeff’s artistry, and creating an appreciation for all of the school’s programs, the limited seating and overall environment of the current auditorium distracts audience members from experiencing the full potential of students.
The renovation is expected to be completed later this school year, before Jeff’s Spring performances.