Los Alamos Public Schools And County Partner In Duane Smith Auditorium Renovations

From left, Deputy County Manager Steven Lynne, Los Alamos County Council Chair David Izraelevitz, Los Alamos School Board President Jenny McCumber, Vice President Andrea Cunningham and Los Alamos Public Schools Dr. Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus hold up a check for $1.2 million Tuesday afternoon, which is the County’s contribution toward the renovation project at Duane Smith Auditorium. The school district is providing $925,000. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com
 
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post
 
Duane Smith Auditorium may be a 55-year-old building but it is getting some modern touches. Against the back drop of plastic tarps, ladders and the sounds of thumping hammers, officials from Los Alamos County and Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) gathered Tuesday for a check presentation to fund the renovation project.
 
Los Alamos County provided $1.2 million to the project and LAPS is contributing $925,000. The goal is to have the project completed by December.
 
LAPS Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus explained that the renovation project includes modifying the auditorium’s lobby. He said for the first time in 55 years there will be enough bathrooms to accomodate audiences and the acoustics in the restrooms will no longer be so loud that the audience hears toilets flushing during performances.
 
Besides improved restrooms, Steinhaus said a new pre-concert area is being constructed, which will be used for rehearsals as well as lectures. Steinhaus said space also will be used to display the artwork of students and local artists. Additionally, the space will host student chamber performances. 
 
“We are very appreciative of the County partnering with the school board on this project,” Steinhaus said.
 
School Board President Jenny McCumber and Vice President Andrea Cunningham also expressed gratitude toward the County.
 
“We are very grateful for the County’s support to refurbish this community asset,” McCumber said.
 
Cummingham added, “We’re very excited to see the end result and enjoy and share it with the community.”
 
County Council Chair David Izraelevitz said the County was happy to make the contribution.
 
“The schools are a vital part of the community and we’re very excited to support not only a school facility but also a community facility,” he said.
 
A number of people at the check presentation said they have personal ties to Duane Smith Auditorium. Steinhaus said he did performances at the auditorium and Izraelevitz said his sons were involved in performances there as well.
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