Johnny Holloway Black Box Theatre

EducationPerforming Arts

Location: Orlando, FL

Completed Date: July 2014

Project Type: Existing Construction / Upgrade

Application: Catwalk Alternative

Architect: Rogers, Lovelock, and Fritz, Inc.

Consultant: IA Stage

Construction Manager: Wellbro Building Corporation for PAC; IA Stage for black box upgrade

Lake Highland Preparatory School’s performing arts center, designed by the architects of Rogers, Lovelock, and Fritz, Inc. and constructed by Wellbro Building Corporation, plays a significant role the school’s rigorous and comprehensive PK – 12 curriculum. Completed in 2008, the 29,200 square foot facility includes two performance spaces: the 776 seat Harriett Coleman Center for the Arts, a proscenium theatre, and the flexible 125 seat Johnny Holloway Black Box Theatre. The performing arts center supports the activities and events of the school as well as the surrounding community.

“The black box is host to several events each year like the Halloween Carnival and the Book Fair,” said Matt Smith, LHPS’s Technical Director. “With the space as it was, we couldn’t use the lighting system because we couldn’t make changes [once an event was loaded in.]” In other words, there was no way to access the overhead lighting equipment unless any seating and scenery was removed and ladders or man lifts were brought in.

“I met Solana [Bolton, one of InterAmerica Stage’s project managers] at LDI a few years ago and we were standing on a SkyDeck™ panel talking about the black box,” Matt said. “I looked down and thought, all I need is a catwalk made out of SkyDeck™ and all my problems would be solved!”

Based on how the space was used, the final solution proved to be 21 SkyDeck™ panels installed around the perimeter of the room. The panels are 6’ below the existing pipe grid and allow unimpeded access for maintenance, decoration, and production purposes. To finish off the upgrade, new draperies were installed to cover the walls from the bottom of the grid to the floor.


Matt Smith, Technical Director
It’s really going to change what we can do in the space. You can’t ask for more than that!

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