Ocean Reef’s new theatre

Ocean Reef Senior High School’s new Performing Arts Theatre opened on September 10. The building will provide the school and community with plenty of new opportunities.

The project was announced in May 2018 by State Premier Mark McGowan, who revealed that $5 million of the state budget would be used to support the building of a new Performing Arts Centre.

He said that the new theatre would be an “outstanding building … not only for the school, but also the local community”.

The ORSHS website said that the centre will benefit students by providing a professional environment for their learning, while the community will have more seating spaces to attend shows and events.

The new building does not have any restrictions on the number of students that can be on stage, while it has the capacity to hold 273 audience members. 

Grey building with a door for an entrance. A fire hydrant is in front of the building.
A student’s and visitor’s view of the entrance to the new theatre. Photo: Daniel Yong.

School principal Karon Brookes said the “final product was absolutely beautiful”, while the construction of the centre was “very impressive as it was completed in nine months, which was pretty much through COVID.

“Some of the contractors were national companies, so a lot of their supplies had to come from interstate. I was very impressed with the way the construction company navigated those challenges.”

Following the opening of the centre, the school plans to conduct its first concert on May 16, much to the joy of the school’s music teachers and students.

“The students are incredibly excited, they’re probably more nervous right now, as they are using the latest technology,” Ms Brookes said.

One of the school’s music students, Zhi Jie Tan, described how she felt about the first performance in the new building.

“I was super excited, but also super nervous because we still weren’t familiar with the building.

“It’s just about getting used to the amazing venue and sound equipment to maximise the potential of this new PAT.”

The music centre is also equipped with the latest technology. Speakers, microphones and a new lighting system. 

In addition to the facilities, Ms Brookes also highlights how the building gives the school a new personality.  

The high school was established in 1983.

“Previously, the brown bricks and orange tiles and dated facilities didn’t create the impression that it was a first-class learning environment at Ocean Reef,” she said.

“But when you come in now, you see a state of the art performing arts centre that reflects the quality of the education that is occurring at the school.”