Girard picks architect for auditorium

GIRARD — With plans to add a 1,000-seat performing arts auditorium to the west side of Girard High School off Shannon Road, the Board of Education at a special meeting Wednesday hired Axiom Architects LLC of Youngstown for the project.

Board of Education President Mark Zuppo said the firm was hired at up to $600,000 for the design and planning of the auditorium addition. School Treasurer Mark Bello said the firm was selected from eight others that submitted proposals.

Zuppo said the project has begun with some preliminary items being addressed, but an official groundbreaking will be held in the spring with a goal to have the project done by spring or fall 2019.

”We have got the ball rolling on a few preliminary items for the project, such as looking at the site and soil and where the best place to make an addition to the building should be,” he said.

School officials have said the high school has a cafetorium with a small stage for programs but there is not enough room to get students in grades seventh to 12th in the cafetorium all at the same time. Separate assemblies have been held or moved to the main gymnasium.

Plans are to hold graduations, musical performances, plays and other school events in the new performing arts auditorium.

Zuppo said the idea of a 1,000-seat auditorium is being considered, but the board will wait and hear from the architects.

”What we had suggested could change as the project is planned.” he said.

Another plan is to possibly begin offering theater and drama classes not only to deal with performing on stage, but behind the scenes such as lighting, sound and scenery for productions.