Newly renovated Xenia Bob Hope Auditorium opens to public

The newly-renovated Bob Hope Auditorium has seating for about 700 audience members. CONTRIBUTED
The newly-renovated Bob Hope Auditorium has seating for about 700 audience members. CONTRIBUTED

Xenia High School welcomed the community back into the Bob Hope Auditorium.

Over the past six months, the auditorium at Xenia High School underwent a complete renovation that offers state-of-the-art space for student productions, schoolwide meetings and other events.

“This new space will offer our students opportunities to learn, grow, and develop skills, and showcases our commitment to maximize the use of every facility in the district,” said Gabe Lofton, superintendent of Xenia Community Schools.

ExploreNew Xenia Bob Hope auditorium nearly complete

The Bob Hope Auditorium was named after legendary comedian and actor Bob Hope. The auditorium and current high school were built after the April 3, 1974, tornado destroyed the previous building. The Xenia school board named the auditorium for Hope as a way to say “thank you” for a fundraiser he organized in the University of Dayton Arena that raised about $150,000 for victims of the Xenia tornado that year.

Hope made several visits to the Miami Valley throughout his nearly 80-tear career. He played in Bogie Busters Golf Tournaments in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, received an honorary doctorate degree from Wilberforce University in 1972, and had performed during a 1975 Christmas show at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, according to Dayton Daily News archives.

The renovation of the auditorium includes entirely new stage and house lighting, Rosebrand stage curtains, upgraded sound and projection technology and updated and accessible seating for nearly 700 people. The floor have also been completely replaced. The projection and sound systems also have been updated.

ExplorePHOTOS: Scenes of destruction after 1974 tornado roars through Xenia

Travis Matson, a theater teacher at Xenia High School, said that these improvements to the projection and sound systems will allow the department to create backdrops for performances. The sound system is the same used to create professional productions around the world, he said.

New equipment in the Bob Hope auditorium. CONTRIBUTED
New equipment in the Bob Hope auditorium. CONTRIBUTED

The total cost of the renovation cost about $600,000. The project is being funded through the district’s permanent improvement funds. The Doug Adams Trust also made a $30,000 donation to support the auditorium project.

Xenia High School held an open house Wednesday to showcase the newly renovated auditorium.

Staff test the new lighting and sound system in the Bob Hope auditorium in Xenia High School. CONTRIBUTED
Staff test the new lighting and sound system in the Bob Hope auditorium in Xenia High School. CONTRIBUTED

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