The BLHS Chamber Choir, who performed at the start of the groundbreaking, joined Jadin Bassett, Bryce Gaskill and other students to officially break ground for the Bonney Lake Performing Arts Center. Photo by Ray Still

The BLHS Chamber Choir, who performed at the start of the groundbreaking, joined Jadin Bassett, Bryce Gaskill and other students to officially break ground for the Bonney Lake Performing Arts Center. Photo by Ray Still

Panthers jazzed for new Performing Arts Center

Sports fans should also be excited for new home-side covered seating at the school stadium.

Bonney Lake High School students broke ground — literally — as their new Performing Arts Center starts to come together.

On April 3, the Bonney Lake-Sumner School District held a ceremony celebrating the new performance space.

“New brain research shows that students who participate in performing arts have higher standardized test scores in reading and math, advanced presentation skills, and greater levels of self-confidence,” said district Superintendent Laurie Dent. “And most importantly students who participate in the performing arts are more likely to graduate from high school.”

”While a building doesn’t define the quality of education students receive, it can certainly expand and enhance exploration of 21st-century learning opportunities in preparing students for the future,” Principal Cris Turner said. “This facility will enrich the lives of everyone not just at BLHS, but on the plateau and surrounding communities.”

But of course, the stars of the show were seniors Jadin Bassett and Bryce Gaskill, who spoke after Dent and Chris.

Even though they won’t be able to enjoy the PAC as students, both said they were excited for their high school to finally have a performance center of its own, instead of having to use Sumner High School’s.

“It’s a huge leap to support our performing arts programs, allowing more students to express the creativity, talent and skill they didn’t know they had and hopefully it’ll build amazing traditions in the early years of what our staff has declared “the worlds greatest high school,” Bassett said. “I am passionate about the arts and so glad that others are going to have more opportunities than I got for their future.”

The Performing Arts Center is being funded through the voter-approved 2016 bond measure for $146 million.

According to district communications director Elle Warmuth, construction of the building is going to be around $10 million for the 15,000 square foot, 550-seat auditorium. The PAC is expected to open before the start of 2019.

The PAC might be the most noticeable project on school campus, but smaller improvements are being made around the school as well.

Sports fans will be excited to hear the district will be improving the athletic field with new home-side covered seating, which is expected to be completed late this summer, before the start of the school year.

The school is also receiving upgraded security features, and all construction happening around BLHS will cost around $15 million, Warmuth said.

Seniors Bryce Gaskill, left, and Jadin Bassett, right, were the two student speakers at the groundbreaking event. Photo by Ray Still

Seniors Bryce Gaskill, left, and Jadin Bassett, right, were the two student speakers at the groundbreaking event. Photo by Ray Still

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