Bartlesville High School's new performing arts center

Thursday, September 16th 2004, 6:18 am
By: News On 6

Bartlesville is filled with the sound of music. Construction of a long-awaited high school performing arts center is finished.

As the News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin says educators hope the $8.8-million facility will help put their students on the map.

Music supervisor Ron Lewis: "When I first came here the facilities didn't warrant the international recognition we get from the Mozart festival and things like that for our students." But there was a vision, to someday have this, a state of the art performance hall, worthy of a professional orchestra and dance company.

Caitlin Veteto: "It's so much fun. It's so exciting to get to perform in such a nice facility. Everybody's just been waiting and waiting to get in here and now that we're here it's just so awesome."

The school was originally built in 1939, with few upgrades, until voters pledged more than $30-million to help. With features like the latest in acoustical engineering, instructors say this building is so much better than what they had before, there's simply no comparison.

Lewis: "It was so bad, I was in a band room that had mold, it was underneath the stadium coming in every time it rained." Not only do they now have one of the best school performance facilities in the state.

Bartlesville finally has an auditorium big enough for its entire student body. When this building opened, students had their first full assembly in 20 years. Now they're gearing up for the public unveiling. Polishing their performances to show voters exactly what they paid for. Lewis: “It brings them to another level, it excites them, it makes them feel important like it really does matter."

Bartlesville school superintendent Dr Gary Quinn: "It's been several years in coming everybody's worked very hard and to see our students perform in this type of facility gives us a great sense of pride."

The public Open House is this Sunday from 2 to 4 and will feature two big names from Bartlesville High, Marianne Cook and Dr. Roger Price, former grads who are now University professors and professional performers.