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This diagram shows the location of a new performing arts building to be constructed next year at 13th Street and College Avenue. Work is already underway on a new science building at left.
A rendering of the Elko High School performing arts building from northeast perspective by Design West Architects. The building will house an auditorium and rehearsal space for band, choir and drama classes.
ELKO – Three school district capital improvement projects — including a $12 million performance arts building — will be going out to bid in January.
The Elko County School District board of trustees unanimously approved a request to seek bids on the building at Elko High School, a mechanical upgrade at Wells High School, and remodeling of two EHS buildings.
The projects were included in the district’s five-year capital investment plan that was approved by the board in June.
Funded through pay-as-you-go property tax, the budgeted cost for all three projects is approximately $17.5 million.
Work on the $12 million performing arts building could start this spring, while construction continues on the new science building next to it.
Designed to house practice and rehearsal space for the Elko High School Band of Indians, Choraliers and drama department, the structure includes an auditorium with seating for approximately 830 people.
The southeast perspective of the Elko High School performing arts buiilding is shown in a rendering by Design West Architects.
The auditorium will require a special subcontractor to the general contractor for the acoustics, said Casey Kelly, director of building operations and construction for the district.
Having a dedicated space for performances will reduce costs to rent the Elko Convention Center’s Laurena Moren Theater, said Superintendent Todd Pehrson. For the 2018-2019 school year, the expense to rent the facility about 10 or 12 times was approximately $20,000.
“The district and convention authority have had a positive relationship for years, and we continue to appreciate the use of the theater,” Pehrson said.
The new auditorium could also boost the students’ confidence in annual concerts and productions.
“It makes the performances more meaningful for our kids when they can showcase [their talent] in such a nice theater,” Pehrson added.
Karen Rogers, Choraliers director, said since EHS’s old auditorium burned down in the 1970s, discussion has been ongoing about constructing a new performing arts building “but it was never the right time.”
Rogers, along with EHS band director Michael Broyles and drama teacher Kelly Moon, met with architects in Idaho and toured a school to develop a basis for building designs.
Having all performing arts classes under the same roof, Rogers said “there will be more opportunities for us all to work together” on productions.
“I am very excited about this new building,” Rogers said. “The community will love it.”
The performing arts building could be completed by November 2020, Kelly said.
Wells High School heating
Also planned is a new heating system for Wells High School that includes cooling.
The two-year upgrade is estimated at $4.5 million and work is expected to begin in June.
The approval came one month after faculty and students walked into the school Oct. 21 and discovered a
heating element blew out.
Pehrson said Wells High School was among many schools in need of a heating system upgrade, but that budget constraints allowed one mechanical upgrade a year.
Going out to bid will allow materials to be shipped to the school by the end of the school year for work to begin on the first phase immediately after the last day of school, he said.
The installation project is spread out over two phases, during the summers of 2020 and 2021, so that classrooms will not need to relocate during construction, Pehrson said.
The third project approved by the trustees is a $1 million remodel of the Junior and Senior buildings on the Elko High School campus.
The remodel is part of the
science building’s construction project, as biology, chemistry and physics classes will be moved out of their current locations to the new structure.
“It’s basically remodeling old science labs and turning them back into classrooms,” Kelly told the trustees.
He added that administration rooms inside the Junior Building will be consolidated at the same time.
The science building is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020.
Michael Broyles at rehearsal with the Elko High School drum line
Elko High School Band Director Michael Broyles, left, shows students in the drum line an example of a beat during band camp on Aug. 21. The Elko High School Band of Indians will perform at Dinner in the Park Aug. 30 starting at 4 p.m. and the next day in the Elko County Fair Parade and home football game.
Elko High School marching band trumpet section rehearses
Members of the trumpet section of the Elko High School Band of Indians rehearses on Aug. 21 on campus during band camp.
Elko High School cymbalists
Cymbalists with the Elko High School marching band rehearse with the drum line in the shade of the band room during band camp on Aug. 21.
Elko High School clarinet section rehearses
Several members of the Elko High School clarinet section rehearse on campus Aug. 21 during band camp.
Elko High School color guard rehearses
The Elko High School color guard rehearses inside the Old Gym on Aug. 21 during band camp.
Elko High School marching band saxophonists
A group of saxophonists rehearse during Elko High School band camp on Aug. 21.
Elko High School Band of Indians perform at the Memorial Day ceremony
Elko High School Band of Indians director Michael Broyles stands with members of the band during the Memorial Day service on May 28, 2018. Broyles was presented with a $500 check to the band for travel and other expenses in appreciation by the VFW.
Elko County Fair Parade
ELKO COUNTY FAIR PARADE -- The 2019 Elko County Fair Parade, "A Family Tradition," will be held August 30. The Parade begins at 11 a.m. on Commercial Street and continues onto Idaho Street downtown. For entry information or questions contact Zach Gerber with the Lions Club at 777-4357 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elko High School marching band
Members of the Elko High School Marching Band of Indians perform in the Nevada Day Parade on Oct. 27, 2017.
Roderick Royce - EHS Strings Orchestra Director and Band Assistant
Roderick Royce is pictured demonstrating how to pluck the string in rehearsal. In addition to teaching at Flag View Intermediate. Adobe Middle School and EHS, he also organizes fundraisers, such as the Spaghetti Serenade, that raises money for the orchestra's travel expenses. This year, the orchestra will attend a live performance in Las Vegas.
Sarah Henry - Violin
Senior Sarah Henry was inspired to learn the violin when she found out she would have the opportunity to join the orchestra or band in the fifth grade. Since then, Sarah enjoys playing classical pieces, mostly compositions by Antonio Vivaldi. “Vivaldi is really good.” Although Sarah has studied the instrument for about eight years, she said she is considering a career in political science because “to be a professional violinist … you have to dedicate your entire life to it, and I’m looking toward something else.”
Alexis Huerta - Viola
Sophomore Alexis Huerta chose the viola to do something different than a band instrument and picked it over the violin. But mostly, it was the viola’s distinctive deep tones. “It’s not so high-pitched. It’s very low-pitched and quiet.” Alexis enjoys both classical and modern pieces by Coldplay and Pyotr Illych Tchaikovsky. So far, “it’s too soon to know” if she will study the viola after graduation, but plans to keep it up in high school.
Mahonri Hyzer - Viola
Junior Mahonri Hyzer chose the viola as the midpoint between the dark tones of the cello and the high-pitched violin. “I had to find my space in between that,” he explained. Mahonri said his favorite piece to play is “Sea Shanty." He likes to play pieces that go “a little darker on the C-string because I enjoy going deeper. We never go into the lower notes, but when we do, it’s kind of awesome.” Mahonri said he plans to perform the viola “on the side,” but is looking forward to college where he hopes to continue playing the viola with a friend.
Malachi Hyzer - Cello
It was the Piano Guys who inspired senior Malachi Hyzer to learn the cello. “I thought it was cool to listen to them and it inspires me to play music.” He enjoys Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suite and plans to continue with the cello after graduation, starting with the Elko Community Orchestra as he attends Great Basin College. “As I move up to bigger universities, hopefully, I will play with higher up orchestras.”
Melanie Hyzer - Cello
Freshman Melanie Hyzer joined her brothers Malachi and Mahonri in the EHS strings orchestra, inspired by Malachi’s choice of the cello as his instrument. “I heard my brother playing it, and he sounded amazing.” Her favorite song to play is “Secrets” by OneRepublic, but she loves music composed by Ludwig van Beethoven and the classical genre. Melanie is having fun studying the cello, but for now, “I think it’s just a hobby.”
Valentin Leon - Violin
Junior Valentin Leon began learning the violin at Elko High School this year. He chose it out of the other stringed instruments because “I feel like it makes the best sound,” he said. Although he has never played, “it just seemed like a fun opportunity.” One of Valentin’s favorite composers is Frederic Chopin. Currently, he is practicing “One Thousand Years,” which is also his favorite piece to play on the violin. Will Valentin keep the violin? “Yes, I’m pretty sure I’d like to do this beyond [high school].”
Oren Long - Violin
Sophomore Oren Long chose the violin about five or six years ago because “it’s the one that felt most comfortable.” His favorite piece to play is “Nearer My God to Thee,” but he also enjoys being challenged by composers such as Franz Liszt, particularly, the “Hungarian Rhapsody.” “There’s so many different speeds it’s played at, and there’s different styles in it," he said.
Sophomore Anna Moss “fell in love” with the viola in the fifth grade, mostly because of its sound. “The high string on a violin was way too high for me, but this deep string, you can feel it rumble in your body.” She prefers music primarily by Russian composers “because it’s very challenging and it’s fast.” But she also enjoys pieces, such as the score from the “Game of Thrones” soundtrack “that are emotional because the viola is able to bring out those deep, sad parts.” Anna hopes to take her love of the viola and incorporate it as a teacher. “I want to go into life skills, so being able to bring music into my teaching and show this [to my students] would be amazing.”
Dillyn Ortiz - Bass
Sophomore Dillyn Oritz, like some of his classmates, comes from a musical family. His brother, EHS graduate Joseph Ortiz, played the double bass in the strings orchestra, and inspired Dillyn to try the instrument two years ago. “I like it because it’s one of the loudest instruments,” he said, adding that “Seven Nation Army” is one of his favorite pieces to perform. Dillyn thinks he will probably play the bass as a hobby in the future.
Kayli Owsian - Violin
Freshman Kayli Owsian comes from a musical family, but was inspired to play the violin when she discovered violinist Lindsey Stirling. “I listened to her for about a year, and just wanted to play the violin and tried it,” Kayli recalled. Enjoying both classical and modern styles of music, she loves playing “Clocks” by Coldplay and feels challenged by compositions written by Johann Sebastian Bach. Kayli, who also plays percussion for the Elko High School Band of Indians, said she might continue music beyond high school. “I’m thinking about doing music in general.”
Eliza Pulley - Violin
Sophomore Eliza Pulley comes from a musical family where her siblings played a stringed instrument. But for Eliza, who has been studying the instrument for about 5-6 years, the violin is “fun to play songs. I don’t really have a favorite, some are more challenging than others, but that’s what makes it fun.” To date, the most challenging piece she played was the “1812 Overture.” Eliza’s favorite composer is Mack Willberg. “I think he makes some pretty good songs.”
Giovanni Roman - Violin
Freshman Giovanni Roman has played the violin since the eighth grade because “I’ve always liked how the violin sounded.” Although her favorite composer is Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky, Giovanni was inspired to play when she heard the song “Moonsetter” from her favorite web comic. “I was really proud of myself when I learned how to play ‘Moonsetter.’” At the moment, Giovanni sees herself continuing the violin and possibly studying it in college.
Paige Sharber - Cello
Junior Paige Sharber found the cello’s resonate, low tone to be the perfect instrument “without being really high to the point where I can’t practice it, or too low where I can’t hear it.” Her favorite piece is from “Swan Lake” Act II, No. 10, and calls Pytor Illych Tchaikovsky her favorite composer. However, it’s soundtracks, such as those from “The Pirates of the Caribbean” movies that she loves because, “you can hear the story.” Paige said she might keep up the cello, but wants “to go to college on flute, because I’m in band, too.”
Autumn Smithart - Violin
In fifth grade, sophomore Autumn Smithart was advised to play the violin by a teacher because “I’m a happy person and the violin is a happy instrument.” As a member of the EHS strings orchestra, she enjoys performing “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes, and likes pieces composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. For now, Autumn intends to keep playing the violin, but is unsure if she will continue it in college. “I’ll definitely keep it as a hobby if it doesn’t turn into anything more.”
Isaac Stark - Violin
Since the sixth grade, Elko High School freshman Isaac Stark has played the violin. “I’ve always liked the violin because they’re cool. I like the sound and they’re in a lot of favorite movies.” Right now, he is trying to learn “Cotton Eye Joe,” because “it sounds fun but looks hard.” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is his favorite composer because “his music is real soft.” Isaac has dreams of studying the violin in college so that he can one day teach or perform the instrument. “I want to teach kids how to play certain songs, or perform around the world.”
Emma Wood - Violin
Freshman Emma Wood was given a violin by her uncle and began learning it in the sixth grade. Among her favorite pieces to play is “Legends of Glory,” “Dance of the Harlequins.” She also enjoys compositions by Richard Meyer. Emma plans to join the Elko Community Orchestra and attend art school after graduation.
Tameka Wright - Violin
Sophomore Tameka Wright said she was drawn to the violin because of its sound. She enjoys playing “Swan Lake” by Pyotr Illych Tchaikovsky, and is challenged by “The Cello Squadron.” “I like classical and modern equally,” she said. As far as the future goes with her music, she’s planning to study the violin and is “going to see what happens.”