Converting a grade II school hall into a modern theatre

Southall | Theatretech

The Brief

Converting  a grade II school hall into a modern theatre, complete with control room, and separate presentation and rehearsal areas.

Specific elements of the build

We worked with audio-visual consultancy, Theatretech to convert and refurbish this grade II traditional school hall into a modern theatre for pupils as well as for external hiring purposes. In addition to a modernised auditorium, we created a control room with viewing window, and helped the school maximise available space. The school now has extra areas for rehearsal and teaching, as well as a separate presentation / speaking platform.

We worked over the summer holidays and into the first part of the autumn term. Careful scheduling and on-site safety procedures meant we completed on schedule and didn’t disturb the working life of the school in any way.

Converting School Hall To Theatre
Converting School Hall To Theatre

Our work comprised the following elements:

  • Extended the stage to create a day-to-day presentation area.
  • Created a rehearsal room, closed off by sliding panels.
  • Refurbished the area under the stage for use as a separate sound-proofed teaching area.
  • Built new stairs down either side of the new retractable seating.
  • Constructed a control room with a viewing window into the auditorium and stage.
  • Refreshed the original wooden panelling, and decorated throughout.
Converting School Hall To Theatre
Converting School Hall To Theatre
We discovered that the existing beam underneath the balcony (and upper tier of seating) wasn’t fit for purpose in supporting the weight. We therefore replaced the beam and ¾ quarter ton of concrete with new steel supports. Then we built a new wall with sound insulation and created the under stage teaching area.