2015 — Seminole Performing Arts Center

Seminole ISD—Performing Arts Center

The Performing Arts Center (PAC) project is primarily the addition of a 935-seat auditorium along with a black box theater, scene shop, band hall and music practice rooms. Serving a small community with a population just over 7,000 – the size and scope of the PAC has had a profound impact on the community and serves as a true landmark gateway. The project also included a classroom addition and renovation.


The Performing Arts Center is foremost a place of teaching and learning – a destination that invites the community to share in the fine arts experience created by its young people. The district desired a distinctive identity for its High School as well as a gateway into the community. Located atop a prominent hill on a main highway, the PAC is highly visible from several approaches to the small community. It is a landmark statement of a progressive school district and supporting community.


The bandhall, practice rooms, black box theater and the auditorium chamber each support the other by a compact arrangement of space allowing efficient flow of activities and minimizing the travel distances. Enhanced acoustics, intimate seating arrangement, volume, and multi-functional stages allow the students, teachers and audience to experience the ambience of a real world theater. The black box theater is a classroom for teaching the details of theater function.


The design team including administrators, teachers, staff, and design consultants developed a program to meet the goals for the project. The team’s understanding of the complexities of this building type was enhanced by visiting similar facilities and talking to other school districts. Team meetings were held often to ensure that all parties concerned were able to make positive contributions for timely decisions and to maintain quality control of all aspects of the project.


The PAC is an addition to a large 1970’s building. The sustainable goal was to construct the addition with energy efficient systems and to utilize the site orientation for sustainable advantage. Energy efficient insulated glass for the north façade lobby was critical . Trees and xeriscaping screen the north side of the site, buffering weather exposure and traffic noise. The north and west addition takes advantage of the existing site grades eliminating some excavation costs.

Stars of Distinction Value

The PAC has shared use with the community. The selection of materials for their long life –span, resulting in a small life-cycle cost. The existing site did not allow additional new parking, however, the location of the PAC adjacent to the existing large parking area allowed shared use , saving the cost of new paving and drop off drives for the public and Band Hall.

School Transformation

The entire addition is a neighborhood of Fine Arts functions for music, speech and theater. Within the neighborhood is an open area for the collaboration of students accented with casual furniture and a central skylight for natural light. The area has student practice rooms of various size on the perimeter. The band hall and practice rooms form a “neighborhood” for student and teacher collaboration.

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner