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J.B. Chambers Center Brings Art to Life

August 12, 2013
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - The 2013-14 school year is expected to bring more great happenings to Wheeling Park High School's J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center.

Located on the high school's campus, the 1,200-seat facility contains a stage, mezzanine and two galleries.

Since its opening in March 2012, the center has held numerous performances including a production of the "Wizard of Oz,"which displayed on-stage "flying" during the production and the school's annual "Celebration of the Arts" which showcases the musical talents of Ohio County students of all grades.

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Students present one of the many concert performances at the J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center at Wheeling Park High School.

The building also been a place to display student artwork and hold art demonstrations.

The $10 million center includes a 30- by 50-foot set shop and multiple dressing rooms backstage. The building features state-of-the art technology with more than 350 computerized lighting circuits and rigging for the stage and curtain that are operated by touch-screen computer. More than 100 workers installed nearly 100 miles of wiring in the building and poured almost 1,000 yards of concrete.

"We have a longstanding tradition of excellence in the arts at Ohio County Schools," board of education member James Jorden said. "The overwhelming response that I've heard from the community is a favorable one."

The center also has hosted guests such as the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra on its 2012 Young People's Concert Tour and "Partners in Sound," a performance that combines the talents of the orchestra with the Wheeling Park music department.

The school experienced several delays prior to the center's opening due to glitches in the construction, including rainy weather and the discovery of a large pyritic shale deposit on the constuction site, but ultimately experienced a successful opening much to the happiness and excitement of the school and the community.

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