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Posted on February 12, 2018 at 10:46 AM by Ryne Dittmer
It’s almost time for The Schoolhouse to step back into the spotlight. Over a span four years the building has undergone the most intensive restoration in its 118-year history — renovating, repurposing and reimagining its original classrooms and corridors. The project has revitalized The Schoolhouse Annex as well, transforming and updating its unique spaces for performing arts and artwork exhibitions.
Before the building reopens to the public, take this sneak peek to see what’s waiting to be unveiled.
As it has since the Parker Consolidated School opened in 1915, the original wooden newel post and central staircase welcomes visitors to The Schoolhouse. Wooden floors and other features throughout the original building were restored during the multi-year renovation.
The event room, with space to comfortably host 80, is surrounded by its original windows overlooking Mainstreet. Through research, light fixtures exactly matching their historic counterparts have been installed throughout the structure. Elsewhere, century-old chalkboards have been kept in place and transom windows replaced over doorways.
As many as 10 layers of paint were removed from windowsills to uncover the natural woodgrain during restoration.
A new walkway and staircase connects The Schoolhouse and Annex.
Serving patrons of The Schoolhouse Theater is a new concessions and box office area. Exposed steel beams along with complementary fixtures and finishes create the intended steampunk ambiance for The Annex.
Even the bathroom tile has some flair.
Lights flank the doors, which date back to the building’s time as the Parker United Methodist Church, leading into the theater.
A rehearsal area matching the dimensions of the PACE Center’s Mainstage Theater replaced four classrooms in the Annex basement.
Want to explore the new Schoolhouse for yourself? Join Parker Arts for a grand reopening celebration from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 24. The free event will include a ribbon cutting, crafts, music, cake and tours. Regular events will also be staged once again at The Schoolhouse with more information found on the Parker Arts website.