New $5.3 million Alter performing arts center opens TODAY

A ribbon cutting and open house for the $5.3 million performing arts center at Alter High School was held at 10 a.m. Friday.

According to Amy Miller, director of marketing and communications for Alter, the new building will feature a 236 seat theatre, an art gallery and classroom, a two-story band and music room, a dance studio, and many other amenities. The new building connects to the main school building near Seton Hall and features a breezeway to walk through from the front of the school directly to the rear parking lot.

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The new Arts Wing is named the Christine Connor and Fred J. Miller Conservatory of the Arts. Connor is the wife of Alter Hall of Fame inductee and alum Larry Connor. She is an artist herself, and is a dedicated supporter of youth education and the special needs population in the Dayton area.

Fred J. Miller was a champion for the arts. He was a band director for both Fairborn and Alter High Schools, and created Miller’s Blackhawks Twirling and Musical Corps, and he founded the local company FJM Inc., which manufactures and sells marching band uniforms.

Todd Tucker, director of music, said the performing arts center will enhance the quality of the fine arts department.

“We have worked extremely hard to elevate the fine arts department at Alter to offer our students first class music, theatre, dance, art education and experiences,” Tucker said. “Now our students and faculty will have the first-class facilities that they deserve, to not only meet our standards, but take us into the future.”

The Conservatory of the Arts building completes the facility improvements of a capital campaign that began in 2008. Alter has renovated its Chapel, Science and STEM Labs, Chef Lab, and converted the existing athletic practice areas into updated turf fields.

Principal Lourdes Lambert said the renovation shows the school’s commitment to spiritual development.

“The renovation of the Chapel mirrors our commitment to spiritual development, the state-of-the-art Science and STEM labs reflect our commitment to a 21st century educational model, and the turf fields enable our state championship winning teams to practice and play in a facility that matches their level of excellence,” he said.

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The contractor for the project, R.L. Fender, and designer, Moda4, say the new facility will serve as a great addition to to the City of Kettering.

Highlights of the new Conservatory of the Arts :


• Theatre has a thrust stage which puts the patrons “around the performers”

• Furthest seat from stage in the theatre is 30 feet; closest seat is 6 feet

• Two guest suites that can accommodate 20 additional patrons

• Special telecommunications allow for the orchestra pit to perform from another room in the Arts Center and still see and hear everything that is going on in the theatre

• LED Lighting system design comparable to those found in large metropolitan theatres

• ADA listening system for hearing impaired

Music Room

• Tall, open design with multiple high levels for conductor that allows band to perform on wrap-around walkway while the color guard performs on the main floor

• Multiple practice rooms for individuals and ensembles

• Acoustically balanced and calibrated soundproofing

• Specially designed loading dock with elevator access

Dance Studio

• Marley dance floor

• Dedicated sound system

Art Room

• Window wall to allow for expansive natural light

• Plumbing to allow for ceramics

Theatre Lobby Art Gallery

• Special rail system for displaying artwork

• Three-dimensional wall panels

• Concessions area and coat check room

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