Beaumont High School’s high-tech theater nearly complete

The Press-Enterprise

Many years in the making, a new performing arts theater at Beaumont High School will soon be ready for use.

Construction resumed last summer to complete the theater, which was started at the same time as the high school, in late 2003. Work on the theater stopped when state hardship funds usedto build the high school ran out. The school opened in 2006 but the theater remained unfinished until now.

With construction finally almost complete, school officials are looking to hold a grand opening ceremony in March.

“We’re very pleased. It’s just a magnificent facility,” Superintendent Barry Kayrell said.

The district completed the $2 million performing arts theater with revenue from Measure Z, a $125 million bond measure the district passed in November 2008.

The theater has 422 seats with folding desktops. Architect Leo Johnson, from the San Clemente firm PJHM, said this will allow the theater to be used for test-taking and as a lecture hall.

In the control room is a high-tech audio and visual system.

“I got goose bumps when I went into it the other day and listened to the sound check. It was just incredible,” Kayrell said.

Musicians will be seated on stage toward the front and to each side, instead of in a pit, which Johnson said will allow parents to see their children playing.

There is a separate room for building sets; a mezzanine for storing costumes, props and scenery; a green room; and dressing rooms.

Acoustical walls and ceilings keep the performing arts center echo-free.

“The acoustics are excellent,” Beaumont High band director Gregory Taylor said. He described the theater’s lighting and sound as spectacular.

“It will make the concerts really special and the plays really special because we’ll be able to support them with the appropriate sound and lighting,” Taylor said.

He said he envisions the theater being used for musical festivals with outside groups invited to participate. School officials plan to make the theater available to the community.

“It’s going to provide many hours of wonderful fine arts for the entire Pass area,” Kayrell said.

Reach Erin Waldner at 951-763-3473 or