Christ Church Episcopal School (CCES) in Greenville, SC, was formed in 1959. Since then, it has grown steadily through the years to become one of Upstate South Carolina’s most prestigious K-12 academic institutions. The performing arts are and have always been an integral part of education at CCES. According to Dr. Leonard Kupersmith, headmaster of Christ Church Episcopal School:
“In the great scheme of a K-12 school, the performing arts play a critical role in personal development. Performance is the demonstration of learning: in academics, athletics, the arts, and in ethical choices. The performing arts teach lessons that build resilience and patience, poise and teamwork.”
Our involvement with Christ Church Episcopal School began in 1997. Over the years, projects have included various upgrades to their old performance space as well as involvement in specific shows. For example, we supplied rentals for their 2015 production of Grease. Our work on the new performing arts center encompassed everything from consulting to design to installation. Along the way, we were privileged to work with McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, Burdette Engineering, and Theatre Consultants Collaborative.
The vision for the school’s new Hartness Performing Arts Center began with the need to provide a more suitable primary school music room. From there, it grew to encompass performing arts for the entire school. PUI provided many of the needs of the new facility, including the theatrical and house lighting systems, audio/visual system, stage rigging and curtains, polyonyx+® performance flooring, our new safepit+® (pit safety system), and classroom A/V systems:
The stage flooring is our very own polyonyx+® performance flooring. polyonyx+® provided an excellent surfacing solution for the new theatre. They needed a constantly black floor, and polyonyx+® provides a durable flooring that is inherently black, so it never needs to be painted. polyonyx+® was also used as a cover for our new pit filler, safepit®.
safepit+® is our newest innovation in stage technology. safepit+® provides a removable, walkable wire mesh barrier to cover the orchestra pit. It is specially engineered to be fully supported without an excessive amount of legs and cross braces, so that the orchestra can still be in the pit even with the mesh in place. The spacing of the mesh is such that it does not provide a hindrance for light or sound coming into or going out of the pit. If covered with our polyonyx+® flooring when the pit is not needed, this provides a seamless extension of the existing stage area. CCES does not have a pit lift, but our safepit+® can be used either at normal stage height or at seating height, to provide additional audience seating if desired.
Productions Unlimited, Inc. is proud to have played such a major role in the completion of this new and wonderful performance space.