Author: W. Randal Newton, LEED AP
K-8 schools have the need for an auditorium for school assemblies, plays, and choral and band performances but do not have a space dedicating to being used strictly for an auditorium. There are a few creative options to achieve this:
Option 1: Incorporate a stage into the space used for the student dining. Generally the flooring in student dining is durable and will stand up to the punishment of folding chairs without damage to the flooring.
Option 2: Design the stage so that it is between the gymnasium and the student dining so it can be accessed from either space. The gym is generally a larger space and can be used if additional seating capacity is required. A folding partition can be used to separate the two spaces and double as a backdrop for the stage.
Option 3: If the gymnasium is adjacent to student dining, it can be used for overflow seating providing the design is such that the stage can be viewed from both spaces. A folding partition can utilized to separate the two spaces.
Option 4: Create a multi-use space that can be used for student dining, gymnasium, and auditorium. This is the most economical and provides the most flexibility.
D.A.G. has built over 70 schools. It is important for us to understand multi use rooms can be cost effective without jeopardizing what the school needs to offer to develop young minds and keep them engaged while spending time in the same space. Using Option 4 creates a different learning environment for the students and utilizes moveable furniture (furniture on casters, light weight furniture, etc.) The goal is to create a different look in the same space to keep the students engaged while learning or interacting with each other.