New Horizons

Students and staff await opening of fine arts center


Jocelyn Herring, Editor-in-Chief

The Cumberland Academy Performing Arts Center has captivated the minds of students, staff, and parents since its construction was first announced. This facility is going to be, in the words of District Fine Arts Coordinator Pam Eikner, “the best fine arts school facility in the east Texas area,” and everyone in the district is looking forward to its completion.

“All of our high school performing arts classes will have state of the art classrooms in the new Performing Arts Center,” Eikner said. “This will include band, choir, dance, orchestra and theatre.”

Every student at Cumberland Academy High is ready to see this building completed, and for good reason, too. The Performing Arts Center is not just for their classrooms, it is for all of their performances as well.

“Our high school students will enjoy learning in spacious new classroom spaces, and we hope to host UIL and region events and competitions as well,” said Eikner.

Construction has been taking place on the Performing Arts Center for a few years now, and as it draws ever nearer to a close, only a few questions remain. One of the most important, and arguably the most popular of them being: When will it be finished?

“As with any building project of this magnitude, it is hard to solidify a definitive completion date,” Eikner said.

And of great magnitude the Performing Arts Center is. This large building is going to be home to a 700 seat auditorium, an area designed for art exhibitions, a black box theatre, a scene shop, a large band hall, an orchestra room, a choir room, and a dance studio. With all of this space, there are many opportunities for events to be held there.

“We already have a full calendar of district concerts, shows and events scheduled to take place in the new auditorium,” Eikner said.

However, this raises the question that has been asked for quite some time: what will be the Performing Arts Center’s opening act? What will be the first thing we see on that brand new, beautiful stage?

“That is the million dollar question,” Eikner answered. “As soon as the building is complete and occupancy is approved, the first concert or show on the calendar will be the first to hold their event there.”

Some of the events on the calendar include art exhibits, the winter and spring concerts for band, orchestra, choir, and dance, and full length musicals which are said to become an annual tradition. 

“We are all eagerly awaiting the soon to be completed facility,” Eikner said, “and one thing is for sure, it will be buzzing and busy from the onset of its completion.”