Exton Region Chamber of Commerce

Collegium Charter School Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony For New Performing Arts Center

November 21, 2019
Written by: Laurie Ryan

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Exton, PA: ​Collegium Charter School recently held a Groundbreaking Ceremony for its long-awaited Performing Arts Center. The event was hosted by Collegium’s Chief Executive Officer, Marita K. Barber, and the school’s Board of Trustees on the future site of the Performing Art Center’s stage.

Over 100 current and former Collegium families, students, employees, Administration, and Board members attended the Groundbreaking Ceremony. Also in attendance were local dignitaries, and vendors who helped design and will construct the new venue. Front and center, as always, were Collegium’s students, who greeted guests, amazed them with fantastic choral, band, and orchestra performances, and led the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Barber inspired guests with a reflection on the meaning of “groundbreaking”:
“The​ word ‘groundbreaking’ stands for far more than the literal breaking of ground. It stands for the groundbreaking vision of a dedicated group of West Chester residents who in January 1999 founded Collegium Charter School … for our Board of Trustees’ and Administrations’ groundbreaking wisdom and vision in choosing to invest in a future that is difficult to predict … [and] for the groundbreaking musical and theatrical performances which will thrive in this beautiful new space.”

Collegium’s Performing Art Center (PAC) will include many features that past Collegium performance venues did not, ranging from over 600 permanent, padded seats; a dedicated stage; multiple sets of curtains; an orchestra pit; and separate performer dressing rooms with restrooms. There will also be state-of-the-art technology, including a full fly system and other theatrical devices for scenery and special effects options; sound and lighting systems; and more.
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Ms. Sara Stell is Collegium Charter School’s Music and Managing Director of Collegium Center Stage Theatre. “Everyone involved with our Music and Theatre programs has demonstrated time and time again that they can make magic happen anywhere,” she told guests at the PAC Groundbreaking Ceremony. “Today, we celebrate the promise that visions, dreams, and ideas that seemed impossible in the past may soon become possible.”

“In an age when schools are cutting music, arts, and other extracurricular programs to save money,” shared Mr. Christopher McHenry, Treasurer, Collegium Board of Trustees, “we at Collegium remain focused on the core belief that these programs are vital to the academic and life skills development of our students.”

Collegium Charter School is extremely grateful to all who have helped make the school’s new PAC a reality. The venue will be built right next door to Collegium’s High School Building (515 James Hance Court, Oaklands Corporate Center, Exton, PA). “We are eager to host our PAC Grand Opening Ceremony in the spring of 2021!” exclaimed Ms. Barber.

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About Collegium Charter School:​ ​ Established in 1999, Collegium Charter School is a tuition-free, independent public charter school offering families a choice for their children’s elementary and secondary education. Over 3,100 students in Grades K-12 currently attend. CCS employs more than 550 faculty and staff. Enrollment is open to any student who resides in Pennsylvania. Most Collegium families reside in Chester County’s West Chester, Downingtown, and Coatesville Area School Districts.
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