Church-turned-theater gets overhaul

EVERETT — Behind a cyclone fence on the northwest corner of the Everett High School campus, construction workers are performing in an empty theater.

Actually, their props are tools and they are building a new theater for student performances.

The goal is to overhaul the inside of a handsome 84-year-old church building and to preserve and restore its historic brick-and-mortar shell.

The Everett School District acquired the property in 1967 and has been using it as a theater and classrooms.

Money for the $4.7 million renovation comes from a 2006 voter-approved bond measure that raises $198.8 million for school construction.

District leaders never thought seriously about tearing down the building and erecting a new one in its place, said Mike Gunn, the district’s director of facilities and planning.

“I think it fits very well in with the neighborhood and campus,” Gunn said. “It’s very historic looking.”

The project includes totally rebuilding the inside of the former church with the new 150-seat Little Theater and four classrooms. Other work will include making the building sturdier in the event of an earthquake and more accessible for wheelchairs as well as improving heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

“About the only part of the building we are saving is the exterior,” Gunn said.

The building will retain its stained-glass windows.

The church was built in 1924 and served the Our Saviors Evangelical Lutheran Church.

“When it’s done, there will be quite a buzz,” said Catherine Matthews, Everett High School principal. “Our drama department will have a really nice place to practice and perform.”

Dykeman Architects of Everett designed the project and Spee West Construction Co. of Edmonds is the general contractor.

Reporter Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446 or stevick@heraldnet.com.

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