Welcome State High Amphitheater!


Jenny Yu

The State High Amphitheater welcomes students to its steps. Recently opened a couple weeks ago, feedback has been generally positive. “While the weather isn’t the best right now, I’m certainly looking forward to using the amphitheater in the future,” freshman Allison Mi said.

Jenny Yu, Staff Writer

State High students were recently welcomed into the new State High amphitheater, in which they can eat and study. Having been a part of the complete State High project (which in total cost about $137 million), the amphitheater was originally designed by faculty, who together decided what they wanted the space to look like for educational purposes.

“We wanted lots of light — natural light and some outdoor spaces where our students could not just congregate to socialize, but then also use them as learning spaces,” Kathy Pechtold, Associate Principal of State High said.  “Building the amphitheater was not all sunshine and rainbows”, Tim Jones, Sr. Project Manager said.

“One of the challenges is controlling the stormwater in that area and dealing with the wet weather and the rain runoff building it. Access into that area is a bit tight for concrete trucks, so that posed one of the challenges.”

Although the amphitheater is only available for use during lunch hours as of right now, Ms. Pechtold said, “I suspect once we’re all in our permanent spaces, it will be similar to the LGI, where if a class wants to use it for presentations, they have to sign out.” However, once we reach the colder months of the year, it is likely that the amphitheater will not be available for use.

As Christopher Weakland, who takes part in communications regarding the State High Project said,  “Just like any outside venue in central Pennsylvania, it is all weather dependent.”

But how do the students really feel about the amphitheater? Many students take an optimistic view.

“I haven’t used the amphitheater yet, because it is outside, and the outside’s cold. I’d prefer to stay inside because it’s warm inside. I would consider studying in it later, though. Weather permits it, I think it’d be cool to be outside. I think it will be pretty helpful for the students, helping them to relax and reset their minds, as well as give them a different view than just being in a classroom and being inside,” junior Caitlyn Brennan said. Similarly, many students, while having not used the amphitheater yet, plan to in the future.

“I would possibly use the amphitheater sometime later; it sounds like a great opportunity to interact with nature in a serene and peaceful environment while studying or eating with friends,” freshman Allison Mi said. Yet nevertheless, not all students feel the same way about the new amphitheater.

“I don’t think the amphitheater was a good idea. It’s a waste of money, in my opinion. Only a few people can sit there, and they could’ve put the money spent on the amphitheater towards better supplies instead. Not to mention, most of the school year occurs when it’s either snowing or cold (when no one wants to be outside). It’s hardly going to be used, especially during those harsh weather days,” freshman Claire Zheng said. Although students may have differing views on the new amphitheater, one thing’s for sure: it is a change that will bring many new opportunities as well as new experiences to State High students and faculty. The amphitheater is currently available to use during all lunch periods and welcomes you onto its steps.