Stilwell Schools Gets New Auditorium

Friday, May 8th 2020, 10:41 pm
By: Emory Bryan

When students in Stilwell return to classes, they'll have a brand-new auditorium, but if storms come before then, they'll be able to use the same building as a storm shelter.

Stilwell Public Schools is close to completing a 12,000 square foot domed building for fine arts. The unusual construction is already FEMA Certified to withstand a tornado.

It costs $2 million dollars, according to the district, and can hold 2,000 people.

It took years for the district to come up with 25% of the cost, and FEMA paid for the rest.

Superintendent Geri Gilstrap said, "It's very much needed, so we worked really, really hard and scraped together every penny so we'd be able to provide this for our students and staff and also the community as a whole."

The district is $60,000 dollars short on money to pay for seating, but confident they'll come up with it and money for a stage curtain. The building provides, for the first time, room for the choral and band students to practice.

The auditorium will seat 650 people. Tannen Turnam, the High School Assistant Principal, said ‘

"This will be the only one of its kind in the area, so we expect a lot of people to show up when the weather gets bad."

For the district, the next step is the finishing touches on the building - and final fundraising for the seats and curtains to finish it out.