Theatre in the plans for redevelopment

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New build...Gore High School rector John McKinlay points to the building block on the architects plan where a black box theatre will be built after the present building in front of Mr McKinlay is demolished. PHOTO:SANDY EGGLESTON

A black box theatre will be one of the new teaching spaces in the redevelopment planned at Gore High School.

Rector John McKinlay said the theatre would provide a modern, 130sqm performance and rehearsal space.

“So that’s quite exciting really.”

It would be a storey and a-half high with curtains at one end to define a performance area. The curtains could be drawn back if necessary.

Concertina seating which came out from the wall would provide seating for a small audience of 30 to 40.

About 60% of the school’s buildings would be demolished to make way for the redevelopment.

The hall would stay.

“They wouldn’t build us a hall that size again – we’re not as big a school as we were,” Mr McKinlay said.

The “leaky building” workshop suite would be repaired.

The challenge with the buildings was many of the 40sqm classrooms were made of concrete. They were built in the early 1950s according to the style of the time which was to build classrooms along a corridor.

This made them “horrifically expensive” to modernise.

“You’ve got to smack through concrete walls and then put in steel structures.”

Nowadays, flexibility was needed for how the spaces were used. Sliding doors could be employed to make teaching spaces the appropriate size for the number of pupils.

While the details of how the development would progress were as yet unknown, it would probably take places in stages.

It was expected the planning stage would take 12 to 18 months.

“Towards the end of 2023 they might be starting to do some demolition work,” Mr McKinlay said.

All going well, the redevelopment would be completed by 2025.