Hampden Academy, a new $49-million 800-student high school, includes the 900-seat Hampden Academy Performing Arts Center, funded in part by local dollars. Designed to serve both the school and the surrounding community, the performing arts center features computer-controlled lighting, state-of-the-art audio and acoustics, and comfortable seating.
Backstage, in addition to dressing rooms, is a “black box” room — a space suitable for rehearsals or small performances, or to be used as a green room for performers waiting to go on stage. The performing arts center is adjacent to the school’s music rehearsal and storage rooms, and the school’s impressive cafeteria/common area serves as the center’s lobby.
Hampden Academy Performing Arts Center was also designed with classroom use in mind. In the balcony, a curtain closes to create a smaller, 400-seat venue suitable for lectures, and a wide format screen drops down for projection.
Hampden Academy achieved a LEED Silver-certification through sustainable design features including a closed-loop geothermal system, solar hot water, and daylight harvesting. It also earned a Learning By Design Outstanding Design Award.