TAYLORVILLE, Ill (WCIA) – Taylorville High School has hit a high note.

A new performing arts auditorium will join the THS campus in August 2024. The project has a long way to go before opening day.

The auditorium’s initial idea was part of the original architect’s plan for the building in the 1930s. Since then, the idea of adding an auditorium to the high school has been discussed on multiple occasions.

For choir director Keith Chase, this is the third time the auditorium has been seriously discussed since he began working in the district more than 15 years ago. This time, it is finally happening.

“Many months have been spent in meetings and discussions to decide what needs to be included in the plans,” said Chase, who serves on the committee formed specifically to design the auditorium, including band director Chris Gunn, musical director Kathy Fergin, former band director Jim Smith, former choir director Suzie Freeze, former school board member George Freeze and many others. “As of now, we have a design that will be a wonderful boost to our music department.”

Plans for the auditorium’s usage include band and choir concerts, the spring musical, class meetings, assemblies, enrichment classes, speakers, faculty meetings, school board meetings, and professional development sessions. The music department will also invite traveling music groups such as college bands and choirs, military bands, dance competitions and many other fine arts performances for the benefit of students and the enrichment of the community.

“I am looking forward to the thrill of being a part of a production on an actual stage,” said Fergin, who has directed the THS spring musicals for over a decade. “I can’t wait for it to become a part of the Taylorville community.”

Thus far, a $25,000 donation for the project was a combination of a restricted endowment from the estate of Eleanor Kammerer and the Taylorville Public Schools Foundation.

“I think the auditorium will be a great addition to Taylorville High School,” Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry said. “Our community loves the arts, and to be able to see the spring musical, band and choir perform in a new facility will be a wonderful experience. I know the town will love to have it as much as I do. “

Once opened, Chase encourages everyone involved with the new addition to take part in maintaining it.

“This will be our home for a very long time,” Chase said. “We need to keep it nice as long as we can, so we can enjoy it as much as possible.”