Moya Design Partners completed a holistic redesign of Elizabeth Seton High School’s 7,500 sq. ft. Mahler Center for the Performing Arts’ auditorium and added an elevator to meet the school’s goal of becoming a more inclusive community. Seton’s new, accessible, state-of-the-art performance space promotes inclusiveness in education while expanding arts access in Prince George’s County. Reverend Bishop Barry Knestout of the Archdiocese of Washington praised the project, especially the addition of an elevator for better accessibility.
One of the design challenges our team enjoyed was the school’s request to accommodate the retractable seats for 640 spectators. The modules are large — and they move — so we had to challenge our expertise to allow for their dynamic characteristics. The remodeled auditorium also has a new AV platform to locate the equipment for theatrical performances. It took some interdisciplinary cooperation from all involved to lay out all of Seton’s wish list. It was a close and commendable effort between Seton, the supplier, the AV consultant, the contractor, and the MOYA team.
A second phase to the renovation of Elizabeth Seton High School is the construction of a new exterior elevator. This addition provides a vertical accessible route to campus. With all-new corridors and an elevator lobby, it connects the academic building to the school’s multipurpose building. The design solution needed to bridge the classroom wing, which has three levels, to the student lobby, which has two. MOYA guided the school through design and all permitting processes with the Prince George’s County Planning Board.