Farrington High School celebrated Tuesday the completion of a newly renovated auditorium and media center that was four years in the making.
On Nov. 23, 2012, a 40-foot section of the auditorium’s roof collapsed during a brief, but heavy downpour. At that time, one person was backstage and was not injured.
Structural engineers hired by the Department of Education determined that one of the steel trusses that created the room framing was inadequately designed.
The building went unused as planning, design, repairs, and renovations were made. The $11.9 million project was completed in September, and includes updated lighting and audio elements; refurbished chairs, classroom space and a new media center equipped with a green screen and studio lighting.
“We waited four years,” said Farrington principal Al Carganilla. “Now, it’s just pure excitement. We get to share this with not only our students and teachers and have our vibrant activities that we’ve always had, but we can also share it with the community.
“Every class from our freshmen to our seniors have never been in here, so the first moment they step in here, just addressing the class as well as having our homecoming activities, they’re in awe,” Carganilla added. “Just having the venue for something like that for our kids, a lot of schools don’t have it, but we’re just fortunate we have it. They’ve been ecstatic. Any chance they can get to be in here, they’re happy.”
“It’s really amazing to stand here. I still remember that day looking up, being really thankful that no one was hurt,” added schools superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Also I want to thank the legislators who are here, because it’s four years to go from open roof, everything exposed, to getting the funding, getting the design, getting the construction done and having this facility dedicated and ready to rumble.”
The school will use the 1,200-seat Joseph Rider Farrington Community Auditorium to host events such as parent night, band and orchestra concerts, song contests, assemblies, and more.
The auditorium originally opened in 1954.