RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Students at Westside High School will notice some big changes when they head back to school a week from Monday.

The school opened the black box theatre Thursday,

“The students, the parents who support that, the teachers who teach this kind of thing, will see this as an investment in not only the academic side of what we’re doing, but the freedom and expression in performing arts side of what they were wanting to do here at Westside, and like I said, in the community as well,” vice president of Richmond County School Board, Charlie Walker said.

The building is equipped with dressing rooms, costume rooms, a green room, and a scene design shop.

“Everything in this building under the roof is brand new. It looks like from the outside if you were riding by that it has been part of the school for a long time. A lot of what we do when we do renovations or new buildings is we try to make it look congruent with everything else that is already here,” Walker said.

During the tour, board of education members took a vote to approve the theatre that came with a price tag just less than $4 million. Construction began in April 2020.

“We’ve got a new one that’s going to be going up at Davidson [Magnet School] in the near future, and like I said another one at Hephzibah. But this is unique. It’s unique to the school,” Walker said.

Walker says he hopes the new theatre is a place the whole county can utilize.

“Primarily for the school, but it’s not just for the school. We figured this is a resource that the folks in this area might be able to take advantage of, who want to come in and maybe do some type of performing theatre,” Walker said.