About the PAC
The Performing Arts Center is a state-of-the-art facility designed specifically to enhance the arts experience for all students and staff in Austin ISD. The PAC contains a 1200-seat main auditorium, a 250-seat Black Box Theatre, dance studio, multipurpose room, kiln room and an individual recording studio.
Construction of the PAC was approved under the 2008 Bond program. Under the direction of the Austin ISD Construction Management and Fine Arts departments, the facility was designed by Pfluger Architects and Miró Rivera Architects. The performance spaces were designed with acoustical consultation by BAi and theatre consultation by Schuler Shook.
Construction began in 2012, lead by American Constructors Inc. The Austin ISD PAC officially opened its doors Jan. 22, 2015, with the Fine Arts Student Showcase.
The triumphant centerpiece of the Performing Arts Center Complex is our 1,200 seat Main Hall. The Main Hall includes state-of-the-art acoustics and audio-visual system comprising of two permanently installed rear-projection screens located on either side of the stage. A Wenger Diva Shell is available for concert performances.
A state-of-the-art lighting system with an in-house rep-plot allows for various lighting settings, meeting the needs of all performance genres. The stage is approximately 5,200 square feet, allowing for ample room in the wings and off-stage even with all soft goods in place. Just off the stage area are male and female dressing rooms.
Black Box Theatre
The 250-seat Black Box Theatre, located on the north side of the Performing Arts Center, is an intimate venue for all performing artists—poets, musicians, dancers—and for theatre events. This specially designed, flexible theatre, all in black, allows for varied configurations of traditional, three-quarter or in-the-round seating as required by the production.
The walls are covered with acoustic diffuser panels painted black. A catwalk grid also circles the ceiling for theater lighting equipment, ceiling adjustments and maintenance. This theater also is meant for educational purposes as the lighting and sound booth can be used as a classroom for training in lighting and sound design.
The 4,200-square-foot dance studio, located at the southeast side of the Performing Arts Center, is primarily a rehearsal space, with full-length mirrors and ballet bars on three walls. Full-length curtains are hung for hiding the mirrors and dampening the room acoustically. The space also has a small inventory of theatrical lighting instruments with light board, allowing it to be used for more intimate performances upon request.
The multipurpose room is 2,500 square feet of event space with plenty of room for small- or midsize gatherings. It can be used as a warm-up room for ensemble performances, a sight-reading room for UIL contests, or as a space for more intimate concert settings. Attached to the multipurpose room is a kiln for visual artists. Built-in audio-visual technology allows for lectures, seminars, presentations and professional development within this space as well.
The heart of the Performing Arts Center is the spectacularly designed lobby, which serves as a lively gathering place for patrons attending performances and ideally as a pre- and post-function area for special events. A Steinway piano is located on the balcony lobby area, and student and staff artwork is on display throughout the space.
The Plaza Stage, located between the parking garage and the Performing Arts Center, is a relaxed outdoor performance space designed for informal, small-group performances with minimal technical needs. A plaza area and landscaped courtyard makes the perfect place to have pre- or post-show events in a welcoming outdoor setting.
In between the multi-purpose room and administrative wing is an individual recording studio for students to prepare for auditions and to get experience in sound recording technology. The recording and monitoring rooms are specially designed to achieve optimum acoustic properties.