Central School / Central School Auditorium

Registered Site L1819

Central School

Hastings built the first school on this site in 1852. It burned in 1871, and the second school was constructed. Hailed as a "landmark of progress." the new building served until 1930 when it was razed. Bricks from that structure were incorporated into the present school. A three-day celebration marked the opening of Central School in February 1931. Lansing architect Warren S. Holmes designed the building with the most up-to-date facilities. The kindergarten suite included a playroom furnished with a tiled aquarium, an electrical fireplace and sandboxes. Tile friezes of the animal kingdom decorated the room. The school also had a soundproof music room, a science room with plant growing boxes and a photography darkroom, and an auditorium with sophisticated stage equipment.
photo of Central School

Central School Auditorium

On the eve of Central School's dedication the Hastings Banner noted: "Other rooms in the school have been designed primarily to serve the teachers and pupils, but the auditorium has been built to serve the entire community." Hastings had a truly modern facility for staging live theater. During the 1990s the deteriorating auditorium was restored. The project included refinishing the 1,136 seats, arranged on a slope to provide a clear view for the audience. In addition, damaged acoustical material on the ceiling and walls of the auditorium was repaired. Stage curtains and drops are manipulated by the original counterbalanced system, and a central switchboard controls all of the lighting. The auditorium is also equipped for film projection.

Erected 1993

Location: 509 S. Broadway
Hastings, Barry County


Latitude: 42.6438086, Longitude: -85.2902984

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