Albany Senior High School’s new performing arts centre to put students ahead of the curve

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Albany MLA Rebecca Stephen, board chairman Mark Weller and Albany Senior High School students Tess Radford and Mia Benson.
Camera IconAlbany MLA Rebecca Stephen, board chairman Mark Weller and Albany Senior High School students Tess Radford and Mia Benson. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Incorporating the curves of Mt Clarence, a vision for Albany Senior High School’s $6.3 million performing arts centre has been revealed, with work expected to start in November.

The new building, due to be open in 2023, will be a purpose-built space for aspiring musicians, actors and artists designed by Roberts Gardiner Architects with the help of students.

The building will honour the school’s history, incorporating the red brick and colours of the original school wing.

New features will include tiered seating for an audience of 300, classrooms, green rooms, study areas, improved storage space and specially designed instrumental practice rooms.

Designs for the new Albany Senior High School Performing Arts Centre.
Camera IconDesigns for the new Albany Senior High School Performing Arts Centre. Credit: Supplied

The building will be dual-named to honour the Menang history of the school’s Mt Clarence location, and will be used by Albany SHS and North Albany Senior High School during exams.

Principal Mellisa Walker said students had a key role in shaping the design.

“It has been quite amazing how it has evolved, working with the architects and making sure it is meeting the needs of the school, the students and their education programs,” she said.

Designs for the new Albany Senior High School Performing Arts Centre.
Camera IconDesigns for the new Albany Senior High School Performing Arts Centre. Credit: Supplied

Ms Walker said the new venue would allow the school to expand extracurricular activities and offer new creative pathways for students, including dance.

Year 9 music student Mia Benson, 14, said she was looking forward to performing in the space.

“When we perform in the new centre, there will be a better atmosphere and it will feel like it is more important and it is a special occasion; it just creates a nicer feeling,” she said.

Year 11 student Tess Radford, 16, said the new venue would provide more space for students to pursue their passions.

“I feel like it is going to make NASHS and ASHS closer because NASHS can use the performance space as well so then we can combine our music students and do big concerts,” she said.

Albany Senior High School board chairman Mark Weller said the new centre would give new life to the former youth centre with a fit for purpose school and community facility.

“ASHS has an excellent music program which has produced many outstanding musicians,” he said,

“There has been strong involvement from students and teaching staff and its fantastic to see that students in particular are involved in decision making for facilities that will benefit them and future generations.”

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