DUBLIN — Organizers of a long-planned performing arts space at ConVal Regional High School will host an informational meeting about the project Thursday night.
Efforts to build a new performance space as an addition to the Peterborough high school began in 2014 with a grassroots campaign to “fill the void” left by ConVal’s lack of a dedicated auditorium. Though the school uses a gymnasium and a converted lecture hall for music and arts performances, those spaces have presented challenges to logistics and sound quality.
The ConVal Regional School District covers the communities of Antrim, Bennington, Dublin, Francestown, Greenfield, Hancock, Sharon, Peterborough and Temple.
Organizers announced in January that the project, formerly known as the Contoocook Valley Visual and Performing Arts Center, had been rebranded the Thornton Wilder Center for the Arts.
The famous author and playwright spent nine residencies at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, during which he worked on his most well-known work, “Our Town,” among other projects.
The nonprofit group’s vision for the addition — which would extend from the school’s main entrance corridor — is a 17,100 square-foot space with seating for 400 that could accommodate a range of performances, according to the organization’s website, from theater in the round to traditional concert-hall offerings.
It would also offer new amenities, including backstage space and wings, a green room, dressing rooms, a loading dock, and direct access for musicians from existing rehearsal space to the hall, the website notes.
Architect Dan Scully will be available to answer questions and discuss the design at Thursday’s meeting.
The estimated cost comes in at approximately $8 million, which includes escalations — potential wage and cost increases — and fees, according to Robert Eichler, president of the Thornton Wilder Center’s board. He said in January that the board plans to launch a capital campaign for the project this year.
The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the DubHub at 1123 Main St. in Dublin. Additional information about the Thornton Wilder Center for the Arts is available at www.thorntonwildercenterforthearts.org.