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Newhall School District Looks for Help to Renovate Auditorium

Posted: February 15, 2008 1:37 a.m.
Updated: April 17, 2008 5:02 a.m.
The Newhall School District is looking for a partner to help renovate the auditorium at Newhall Elementary School and turn it into a community performance venue.

The auditorium, which is more than 60 years old, is in disrepair and would need an upgrade to the tune of about $1 million so be ready for stage productions. Theater Arts for Children has been raising money and making repairs to the building the past few years, but Superintendent Marc Winger met with other community groups Wednesday to try to get more help.

"Theater Arts for Children has done a great job, but they've kind of run out of steam," Winger said. "They don't feel like they could take the next step, which will take about $1 million."

Winger met with representatives from the Repertory East Theatre, the Canyon Theatre Guild, the SCV Film Festival, the Santa Clarita Master Chorale, Hart High School and also with Phil Lantis, who represents both Theater Arts for Children and the city of Santa Clarita.

"We had a pretty good group," Winger said. "There are a lot of people who would like to see (the renovation) happen, so now we just need to find a partner who can make it happen."

The Canyon Theatre Guild is a potential candidate. The group already has out-grown its facility on Main Street in Newhall and would like to find a venue to use to expand its children's theater program.

"It's a very exciting prospect and we're going to be having more discussions about it," TimBen Boydston, artistic director of the Canyon Theatre Guild, said of the project. "We thought we would see if we could find alternative space for our children's theater program so that we could offer a full season."

While there are currently no seats in the auditorium, once it is renovated it could seat 400 to 450 people.
"It's a big space and it's a neat space, but it needs a lot of work," Winger said.

If the Canyon Theatre Guild decides to take on the project, the completion date would depend on the group's fundraising efforts, Boydston said.

"If it does work out that we can use that space at Newhall Elementary, it will be dependent on fundraising as to how quickly we can turn the auditorium into a theater," he said.


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