History

A Brief History of the Construction & Renovation of the Estacada Auditorium
 
 
The auditorium was built in 1936, as part of the original Estacada Union High School. This was a WPA (Works Progress Administration) project, constructed of concrete, masonry, and old-growth lumber from the woods surrounding Estacada. The facility was large enough to house a significant portion of the community’s population. It had a tin-lined motion picture projection booth to show motion pictures. The booth still remains in the back of the balcony. Beneath the auditorium house was a primitive shooting gallery.

It is the largest auditorium facility in Clackamas County, with a seating capacity of 850. With the exception of some minor alterations over the years, it had not been renovated until 2002, when it became part of the work resulting from passage of a school district-wide $25.4 million bond levy. It is the largest and most architecturally significant, publicly owned building in our community.

School bond-related renovation work included:

  • Structural upgrades to the stage and stage roof, including increasing the strength of the entire building structure to resist earthquakes.
  • Renovations to the mechanical system.
  • Renovations to the electrical and house lighting systems.
  • Accessibility upgrades, including increased handicapped seating and hearing assistance.
  • Enhancements to the acoustical characteristics of the space.
  • Partially upgraded theatrical rigging system.
  • Upgrades to the fire sprinkler system.

At the same time bond-related construction was on going, a private fund raising effort was initiated to raise additional funds for further enhancements, which were outside of the school bond levy parameters. The purpose of these enhancements was to transform the auditorium into a space that will be utilized by the entire community, for a broad spectrum of fine arts activities. These enhancements included:

  • New carpeting in the house
  • New sound system
  • Stage lighting system enhancements
  • Upholstering of the seats
  • A new digital projection system with screen.

All renovations were completed by late summer of 2003. In its first year of use following the remodel, over 11,000 people attended performances within its walls.