PHOENIX, AZ — General contractor McCarthy Building Companies announces the completion of the Combs Performing Arts Center and Sports Field House. In honor of the project’s completion, the J.O. Combs Unified School District administration and staff, students, community members and members of the project team gathered to celebrate and tour the new 25,000-square-foot performing arts center at Combs High School. This marks the first professional theater space in San Tan Valley, Arizona.
The new Performing Arts Center was designed for maximum functionality for students, educators and audience members, accommodating 500 people. To serve area arts education programs and the broader San Tan community, the center is being used as a hands-on teaching space for the school’s Stagecraft and Fine Arts programs and is acoustically balanced for both amplified sound and live performances.
The lobby offers a display gallery to showcase student art pieces, and the back of house includes a dance classroom, scene shop, costume area, dressing rooms and a black box theater that doubles as a drama classroom. In addition, the entire auditorium, pre-function lobby facing the Superstition Mountains and a large, shaded outdoor space are available to community members to rent for personal or business use.
“I am thankful for the community’s support as this facility houses both our growing fine arts student programs and provides a much-needed venue for community use,” said J.O. Combs Unified School District Superintendent Gayle Blanchard. “Separate entrances allow for flexible use and scheduling between our school and community events. The acoustics of the house, integration of state-of-the-art technology and spectacular mountain views from the lobby have created a professional venue that meets the needs of our school and San Tan Valley community.”
“This project illustrates that creative design and construction solutions combined with smart budgeting can elevate a school theater beyond status quo to a professional quality theater for the entire community to enjoy,” said Steve Poulin, Vice President of Operations for McCarthy Building Companies Education Services team.
The 13-month construction project included DLR Group as the architect and McCarthy Building Companies as the general contractor. Construction management services were provided by Arcadis. With this completion, the original full campus master plan for Combs High School, which opened in 2009, is now fulfilled.
“DLR Group is honored to have been a part of Combs High School from the very beginning through this latest exciting addition,” said Carmen Wyckoff, Principal with the design team DLR Group | WRL. “The Combs PAC shows that great design can happen on a budget, resulting in a first-class performance space for the students, staff and the community to enjoy.”
The project also included the addition of a 2,900-square-foot field house, which accommodates multiple sports activities with an equipment storage room as well as space for pre-game and half-time gatherings.
Funding for the project was provided by school bond dollars voted on by taxpayers within the J.O. Combs Unified School District in 2016.
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