The Crown Jewel

The HERALD has given extraordinary, even encyclopedic coverage to the opening of the new auditorium recently given birth off US 301 North and Superintendent Ray Rogers II Way. Impressive is an understatement.
But it just shows what can be done when you have several millions of  dollars to play with which includes funding the new District Four offices, other nearby four star auxiliary projects along with the eye catching digital sign which provides timely information to the school population and passing by motorists.
I should mention the seemingly ‘always there’ landscaping which adds to the site and provides a green foundation for the complex’s parking area.  But a suggestion, you should maybe first practice navigating the parking area before actually using it.   
I was invited to take a tour of the new constructions recently.  We parked immediately in front of the main District Four Office entrance which initially surprised me as I entered because I was faced with several rather jarring posted ‘warning’ signs aimed at visitors.  Or perhaps warning is not the right word but visitors are faced with arguably architecturally out of place signs with ‘instructions’ before entering.  But considering the nature of today’s society, it is unfortunate and indeed understandable that every precaution be addressed.  I did not notice any surveillance devices or visitor monitors but then perhaps that proves that the job has been successfully implemented.  Most would agree that the most profoundly significant business in the area is education thereby worth the cost and sacrifice.
We were warmly greeted and at each stop, an introduction was made along with an explanation of the duties of the officer in charge.  The layout was thoughtfully planned with an abundance of signs pointing to specific areas.  Getting lost would be difficult. Because of the complexity of the ‘business’ of education a professional staff with adequate office space is necessary to provide the needed services thus the busy office complex.
Thought was given to making the building athletically appealing with the placement of ‘art’ works throughout the construction.  The selections were diverse and while appealing to some, would be questioned by others.  But then you have heard many times, “Art is in the eye of the beholder.”  Everyone would agree, however, that local Brad Horton’s superlative artistic posted art craftsmanship is undeniably beyond peer, that is top rank. Although not exactly ‘art’ there are many mounted photographs of scenes from the past including two dealing with the DHS Band which were saved from being lost for public viewing when bought by a school patron at an auction.
One particular area which was notably impressive was the Board Suite which was tastefully and functionally designed.  Noteworthy was the expandable partitioned space designed for larger groups such as training seminars and perhaps an area for public gatherings when there were needs for public comments.  But the crown jewel was the last part of the itinerary, THE AUDITORIUM, the newer one in the District.
One cannot really appreciate the majesty of this building until he/she enters the lobby whose ceiling soars majestically.   I was impressed with its spaciousness yet awed with his simplicity.  Except for several items of furniture, the glassed in lobby speaks loudly with its posted minimalistic sign: THE AUDITORIUM.
Inside the roomy seating areas, the auditorium’s stage seems overwhelming.  Its scope covers almost the entire front of the facility.  Much has been written about the details, the financing, about those who were leaders in the move to bring this state of the art facility to this community.  I would add another: the taxpayer.
Although I know little about the construction details but one attribute of any auditorium is absolutely essential less the auditorium be just another building to house people in an orderly manner.
There were deliberate efforts to make sure that the acoustics were as near perfect as possible.  Look around at the obvious details incorporated in the plan, the panels on the wall and the unique ceiling design and treatment.  
After all, when you are in seat #508 listening to an unamplified speaker on stage, you should be able to hear reasonably well what is being said.
Remember the statement Corridor of Shame?
Come see us now!

Bill Lee, DHS ’46
PO Box 128
Hamer, SC 29547

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