BURLEY — The King Fine Arts Center has undergone major renovations along with the Little Theatre at Burley High School.
Dusty Fisher, who teaches choir at the school and is the KFAC director, said $300,000 in upgrades have been completed in the past few months at the two theaters for a cost of $150,000.
The KFAC foyer was completely redone after a major water leak was discovered on the north wall early this year.
“The water trashed the brand new carpeting and came down the inside the wall,” Fisher said. “When we walked in it was like a sauna in here with all the windows steamed up.”
The carpeting was only a couple of months old at the time.
School district insurance money paid to fix the damage and a new design and color scheme was chosen for the space.
The chandeliers in the foyer were used as inspiration for the tan color pallet. And the new floor tile can be popped up and replaced as necessary. The tables on the north wall were replaced with a counter and behind the counter on the wall is a large tree with gold, bronze, silver and copper leaves. The gold leaves contain the names of the original benefactors of the center and the other colored leaves will be used for the names of other donors. A new heating and cooling pump was also installed.
The east wall will be used to display photographs from the current production and the west wall will feature photos of the Herman King family.
“They put the King in the King Fine Arts Center,” Fisher said.
The renovations were carried into the 1,132-seat theater, built in the late 1990s. The theater received $17,000 from Mini-Cassia Community Concerts, which disbanded this year after 71 years.
“The donation was their gift to the community,” Fisher said.
The money was used to paint the walls and ceiling in the theater. The walls behind the stage were painted black to help draw attention to the stage.
“I think it’s so cool,” said Levi Welch, BHS student. “The entire arts department is on an upswing.”
The improvements, he said, will benefit the next generations of students.
Other community donations purchased three professional projectors and three drop down screens, which can be used for meetings or conferences. There is a new sound booth at the back of the theater and a new sound system.
“I just love it. It’s a lot more modern,” Austin Schaeffer, paid tech for the theater said. “It was nice to get rid of those horrible fruit loops on the wall. It’s been a long time coming.”
When the sound booth was in the center of the theater it blocked the view of the stage for 50 seats, the old sound booth was moved to the Little Theater.
The old KFAC sound system is being used at Declo High School, which purchased a new sound board for the theater. The system will also help upgrade the sound system at Raft River High School.
The next big project for the KFAC will be upgrading the lighting system, which wasn’t new when purchased.
“We spend a lot of time fixing the lights and we have a room full of spare lighting stuff,” he said.
The wings of the stage in the theater were rebuilt this fall, which opened 20 more seats and now includes stairs that can be flipped over to provide more space on stage.
Fisher would like to see the KFAC, which has a yearly district operating budget of $32,000, become self-sufficient, which would allow them to hire a technical director.
Fisher said they hope to unite the groups that use the theater to help fundraise $400,000 to build a new scene shop and storage area to the west of the KFAC.
“We are going to be working toward that goal,” Fisher said.
The current shop is too small, and the stage is used for building sets.
“It just destroys the stage,” Fisher said.
Now, they have to dismantle all props except for the flat ones, which is inefficient, Fisher said.
The upgrades carried into the Little Theater inside the high school, which is used as the performing theater by Lance Jones, drama teacher.
“The updates bring it all to a new level,” Jones said. “It’s great.”
The carpet was removed and the floor stained black and new LED lighting was installed, which keeps the stage and audience cooler
“It completely changed the acoustics in here and now people on stage can be heard in the back without a mic,” Fisher said.