Locals celebrate opening of new OMHS Performing Arts Center

Published 2:09 pm Friday, November 3, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY – The crowd erupted into excited celebration as the ribbon was cut for the new Oak Mountain High School Performing Arts Center.

After nearly 17 months of construction, the OMHS Performing Arts Center is now open for use to members of the Spirit of Cahaba Marching Band and the OMHS Choir.

“Today is a monumental day for the Oak Mountain High School Fine Arts program,” Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. Lewis Brooks said. “Over the last few years, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing, hearing and getting to know the incredible and talented students that are in this community. Every halftime show, every performance (and) every concert has been nothing short of amazing.”

The $7.5 million project first began with a ground breaking in May 2022.

“It’s so great to see the groundbreaking and then see it all the way through and see what’s happening for kids in Shelby County,” SCS Board Member Jimmy Bice said.

The OMHS Performing Arts Center marked the first expansion to the OMHS campus since 2007. The new additions allow the entire band ensemble to rehearse together indoors.

“This ceremony and this building marks a new beginning of which the talent and creativity of these students can flourish more than ever,” Brooks said.

Students and parents gathered together on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. for a ribbon cutting and the opening of the space to the public which was celebrated with performances by both the band and choir.

“This is so exciting,” Board of Education President David Bobo said. “We are so proud of our band (and) our choir. These students have performed well for so long, achieved so many accolades that if anybody deserves an awesome facility, these kids do.”

The new band room inside of the performing arts center was named the Jim Duren Band Room in honor of the school’s first band director who passed away from COVID-19 complications in 2020.

“It’s so exciting to see it come to fruition,” Bobo said. “You can feel the excitement here. It’s so big to this community, such an important part of our community and we’re just proud that we’re able to give a facility that is worthy of these kids.”