A team of architecture students is constructing an outdoor performing arts venue for a Houston middle school. The school also plans to use the structure as an outreach tool to the community.
Alexander Hamilton Middle School sits in the heart of the Heights district, just off Yale street. It was built in 1919 and now offers classes to more than a thousand 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. Edgar Nunnelly is a first year graduate student at the University of Houston School of Architecture. He and several other UH students are designing and building an outdoor stage and canopy for the school.
There will be a 12 by 24 foot platform covered with a canopy that will double as a film projection screen. Brent Oldbury, another UH student, says it took a while to find the right material. They finally settled on a lightweight polycarbonate material that is slightly translucent, which will give the stage a glowing effect when the sun shines through. Oldbury says the outdoor recreation area is already a neighborhood Spark Park where people come to walk and exercise, and the school wanted to promote further community use.
This is the first major design project for the architecture students, and something they’ll be able to put on a resume. They plan to have the stage completed by mid-August and hope to hold the first movie screening shortly after completion.