The Edmond Sun
Considered the crown jewel of the Deer Creek High School campus, the $28 million Deer Creek High School performing arts and athletic center was open for business Thursday afternoon.
Deer Creek students, teachers and administrators, joined parents and members of the Flintco construction staff and Renaissance Architects and Engineers for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
The state’s third-ranked Deer Creek girls volleyball team was ready to put the new gymnasium to work as they took on No. 1 Heritage Hall Thursday evening.
“We are thrilled and very excited with our awesome, state-of-the art facility,” said Athletic Director Bob Diefenderfer.
“This facility will serve us not just for years but for generations.”
The building is designed with monumental entry steps based on the walkways up the mountains built by the Romans, said Socrates Lazaridis, architect.
“The steps elevate the facility above ground and add to its prominence,” Lazaridis said.
Student-athletes and student-performers are provided with a state-of-the-art facility, complete with hi-tech LED lighting and sound system. The arena style sports complex and performing arts auditorium will share a large scale lobby space which includes administration offices, concessions and ticket sales booths.
The Performing Arts side of the building will contain band and vocal practice areas, an orchestra pit, and a full thrust stage with fly loft to facilitate professional productions. The auditorium will seat 1,200 people and can accommodate visiting production companies with its advanced theatrical lighting, professional quality catwalks and stage rigging, Lazaridis said.
“The Performing Arts Center features a concert quality sound system coupled with a Broadway theater quality lighting and control system,” Lazaridis said.
The gymnasium includes fixed arena type seating in the upper level and the lower level has telescopic chair back and bench seating for a total of 2,000 seats. The lower-level seating when retracted, provides for a flexible gymnasium floor layout which will accommodate multiple volleyball and basketball practice courts and will serve as a venue for wrestling tournaments.
The facility, scheduled to be completed in seven years, was finished in three and a half, said Mark Grimes, Flinto division president.
Reflective of today’s latest Green Design movements, the building utilizes both mass, precast concrete and rigid insulation in order to be more energy efficient, Lazaridis said. The roof utilizes a white reflective EPDM finish which will reflect heat and utilizes a thick thermal barrier of insulation to conserve energy.
“The spaces which can best utilize geothermal technology are served by a high-efficiency geothermal system,” Lazaridis said.
School Board member John Robertson said, “There are areas inside that can be used by students and organizations in other district schools, as well as by organizations outside of the school district. We were hoping to get the center finished before the end of volleyball season so our girls would be able to play in the new facility and we did.”
Former Deer Creek School Board president David Miller said, “Obviously this building is the crown jewel of the district. A lot of kids are going to be able to use this facility, and that is what it is all about, the kids.”