June 6, 2006 > Adult School dedicates new multipurpose room
Adult School dedicates new multipurpose room
by Gary Leatherman
May 18 was a big day for Fremont Adult School Principal Ron Cass. It was the last day of his 34-year career in the Fremont Unified School District, the last 19 years as principal of the Adult School. Because he spent much of his time and energy as the Adult School principal expanding and improving the facilities, it was fitting that his last official act would be to dedicate the crown jewel in the modernized Adult School campus- the new multipurpose room.
The new MPR not only is a highly functional teaching facility and performing arts center, it creates a new central gathering area and aesthetic center for the Adult School, finally transforming its appearance from a nondescript elementary school to that of a planned, contemporary post-secondary education facility.
The key to the aesthetic transformation is the dramatic 30-foot-high wall and clock tower facing a stage and amphitheater in front of the facility. The stage will be used for graduations and other events too large to be conducted inside the MPR. A theater arch and access to the inside stage area will be created by raising a roll-up wall.
The most dramatic change was to make the back wall of an indoor stage a roll-up door that opens onto an outdoor stage and amphitheater. The inside stage will be used for community theater productions and can be converted with a temporary room partition into a separate classroom space from the main room. The kitchen area can be used for a cooking classroom as well as for meal preparation.
Although the budget would not allow for installation of new theatrical lighting or sound equipment, the design did include light bars and cable raceways along the walls for community theater companies to set up portable equipment without the intrusion of running cables through the auditorium.
The new MPR was built with funds from a health and safety bond passed by Fremont voters in 2002. One of the primary concerns of voters was to provide all FUSD students with facilities that are at low risk of collapse in an earthquake. Replacing facilities such as the Adult School MPR that engineers considered seismically at-risk was the highest priority of the bond project and were among the first to be done.
Anyone interested in purchasing a commemorative brick should call the Adult School at (510) 793-6465. The Fremont Adult School is located at 4700 Calaveras Ave., Fremont.