LAUSD Continues to Delay Renovation of Historic Auditorium


Destiny Clark, News Reporter

Currently, the Venice High auditorium has been closed for almost  three years. Since it’s a historical landmark, the plans for renovation needs to be permitted by a historian before any work can be done.

Venice High School was previously under construction during the spring semester of 2016. The school installed air conditioning and heating units within the auditorium. The installation of these units lead to the deterioration of the interior plastic work.

“The installed air conditioners shook the Art Deco wallpaper loose,” said Magnet Coordinator Pavlin Lange.

Assistant Principal Frank Nunez said that the renovation plans for the auditorium are being handled by the school district and a decision from the school district is being expected in  another year or two.

“The construction happening in the school is an entirely different plan from the auditorium,” he said.

According to Venice High School history, the school was destroyed by the Long Beach Earthquake that occured in 1933 and the auditorium was built around 1935 using a style known as Art Deco. But, although this style made the auditorium what it was today, this historic style is what has lead to its closure.

The closure continues to interfere with many clubs and school activities, like that of the theater club. Drama director Traci Thrasher has had to produce school plays at nearby Mark Twain Middle School.

“If feels like the auditorium has been closed for at least five years,” said Ms. Thrasher. “It is tremendously impacting the theater club. I have to cart all play materials to Mark Twain.”

The drama club conducts practice everyday except on Tuesdays, often in Rm. 2 and Rm. 14. In recent years, the shows done by the drama club like Happily Ever Once Upon, have been performed at Mark Twain, and other school productions have been done in the student cafeteria.

Although the drama club can’t use the auditorium, the club is doing well in the production of their plays.

This year the drama club will be performing a play known as I’m Getting Murdered in the Morning on Nov. 30 in the student cafeteria.

The school has now lost one of their links to the community, and until the auditorium opens once again for use, the Venice High community must use rooms that provide little  space and relocate to different locations on and off campus.