Construction underway on concert hall

The+concert+hall+construction+is+located+on+the+north+side+of+the+campus.+It+is+planned+to+be+completed+by+the+winter+of+2021-2022.+Photo+by+Arushi+Sharma.%0A

Arushi Sharma

The concert hall construction is located on the north side of the campus. It is planned to be completed by the winter of 2021-2022. Photo by Arushi Sharma.

Arushi Sharma, Reporter

After years of crowded and chaotic practices where band, choir and orchestra students had practice in classrooms that do not have the best acoustics, the Northshore School District finally began constructing a much needed concert hall late last year.

“For decades, a stellar music program has been a pillar of Inglemoor High School and our community. The concert hall for the Northshore School District, housed here at Inglemoor High School, represents the opportunity to provide our students and community a facility that truly captures the talent, skill and preparation of our students, while giving our families and community – who have invested so much –  the audience experience worthy of that investment,” Principal Adam Desautels said.

The Cornerstone General Contractors, the Bothell-based construction services company that also built North Creek High School, plans to complete the concert hall by the winter of 2021- 2022. The $34.5 million project,  which will be located on the north side of the existing school campus, was approved by voters during the February 2018 bond and levy election.

An advisory committee that was formed to craft a vision for the new building discussed the educational specifications and looked at preliminary floor plans created by Hutteball & Oremus, the architectural firm in charge of the project’s design. The diverse committee included students, school staff, capital projects staff, architects from Hutteball  & Oremus and a construction representative from Cornerstone General Contractors. The final plans accommodate approximately 750 seats and add classroom and instruction space.

Junior Zoe Starikov, a member of the committee, expressed gratitude toward being able to represent the student body when it came to the design of the concert hall.

“One thing I really enjoyed about the process was being able to communicate with my peers about what they wanted to see in the new concert hall,” Starikov said.

Senior and band member Aditi Saraf explained the significance the concert hall has on the music program of the school.

“We have large ensembles with students who are passionate about what they do, and this passion can be seen through the decades of success of all programs, whether this is the band, orchestra, or choir,” she said.“So, I think providing a professional environment for music is just as important as it is for sports and the facilities they are given.” 

According to Saraf, during in-person learning, all three band ensembles meet during the same class period to practice together. However, prior to the pandemic, the symphonic and concert bands have to practice in classrooms not meant for music as they are unable to accommodate so many students. Hence, the bands were often split into various class periods.

“It does not make sense for a program as big as ours to not have something that is integral to the musical program. The inability to perform in an actual hall leads to many inconveniences,” Saraf said.

The construction of the concert hall is underway with very few obstructions in the process.. 

In the last few weeks of January, construction for stormwater detention tanks and other major excavations for onsite stormwater continued, and the steel structure was completed on Jan. 28. With abundant progress, the Northshore School District asked former and current music teachers to come and sign the final beam. In February, the workers will complete welding and begin connecting the gas line.

“This is a much-needed facility in our district, so it’s very exciting to get this going,” Northshore School Board President Sandy Hayes said. “With the continued growth in Kenmore, more classroom space will continue to be needed. We look forward to being there on opening night listening to the first performance.”