'It’s going to look beautiful'

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By Gabriel Vasquez

By July 16, everything but the name will have changed.

Duane W. Smith auditorium is getting a facelift, and that’s an understatement.

“It’s going to look beautiful,” said Ross Mason, LAHS Theatre Manager. “We’re working on an unbelievable amount of stuff right now.”

The Los Alamos High School auditorium is undergoing extensive renovations, funded primarily by leftover bond referendum dollars.

The facility, built in 1948, retains most of the original equipment from the Manhattan Project era.

Although still functional, the place hasn’t been much to look at for several years, Mason said.

“The place was trashed,” he said. “It was nasty.”

Staring at certain spots for too long seemed to make the paint peel off the walls. The carpet was ancient, and dangerously suspicious – likely hiding years of asbestos build-up; the dressing rooms, reminiscent more of a bomb shelter than a theatre; and the air handlers, ’50’s-era tanks covered in graffiti and a half-century of rust.

“One of the major projects is getting the handlers replaced,” Mason said. “It’s going to be a huge project, a six-figure job.”

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