The Central High School Fine Arts project received the 2013 Honor Award from the North Dakota chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
GF Central High Grand Forks, North Dakota
Built in 1882, Grand Forks Central High School has seen generation upon generation of students pass through its hallways as the city around it has grown and changed. And Central has changed with it; growing gracefully over the years.
JLG has worked for Central High School a number of times over the past 20 years, on projects such as renovations to the original building (1917) and auditorium (1937), and an addition that converted the original gymnasium (1926) into the library and created a new music, gymnasium and pool space. JLG's most recent project at the school - the Fine Arts Wing - created a centralized home for the scattered music department and a revitalization of the historic 1937 theater. The auditorium now has a much-needed backstage and set storage area, and the balcony, previously closed off as the Arts Department for 30 years, was opened back up and given new life to reclaim seats lost backstage while making performances feel more intimate than before. The Fine Arts Wing respects the theater’s original character while providing a variety of black box theater space, music performance rooms, and practice rooms to give the department room to grow, and has set the stage for students and teachers to take performing to the next level. JLG completed the arts project in conjunction with Perkins+Will.
Due to the historic nature of the original school building, the new arts addition is designed to have a minimum amount of physical connection, and respects the existing Art Deco entrance to the auditorium. The new and renovated spaces contain a large amount of natural light.