There were many a great performances in what is affectionately called by students of BHS, "The Culinary Center of Performing Arts," also known as the Cafetorium.
Play director and BHS staff member, Joshua Casburn remembers the moment they got word the referendum had passed.
"It was during the show, Grease and the entire group went crazy with excitement at the announcement," Casburn said.
On Saturday, the community came together and celebrated the newest, state-of-the-art venue for the visual and performing arts in Batavia.
Now, the students have a new nick name for the theatre, pronounced "B-FAK", the letters of the acronym, Batavia Fine Arts Centre.
Tonight certainly set the tone that this is a place owned by the community, within its walls, has the capacity to allow every citizen of Batavia and the Fox Valley to reach out, touch and be changed by the world of fine and performing arts.
Roger Breisch said of tonight "Just a few months ago, we all came together - Water Street Studios, Music Buffs, STAGE, Batavia Main Street, the chamber and others. We all gathered around right here in the lobby and dreamed what this night could be and it was more - it was magical; an experience in a sacred place that Batavians will not soon forget."
This amazing space was the result of many, many hours of pouring over details as Steve Heronemus, Chair of Facilities Commission, created several hundred pages of documents, all in an effort to "create a treasure that would be shared by everyone in the community—a community who gave us so much that we just wanted to give back", Heronemus tells Patch. "Sometimes is was a tough sell, but everything came together and the time was right", Suzanne Heronemus goes on to explain, "In 2005, Steve was diagnosed with ALS and we thought he wouldn't be here to see this moment ..."
"While there was no fee to come tonight, there will be a $50 charge to leave", Dominic Cattero, an Illinois Wesleyan graduate, jokes with members of the community that made up the audience this evening.
While many had a hand in shaping this astounding centre, Paige McCloud (retired since 2007 after 28 years), was one of the key members of the original "dream team" who tells us, "I worked with John Heath and Lori Grant who has since moved over to Kaneland school and we sorely miss. We saved notes for years. We wanted to created something beyond the typical high school theatre. There are many key ingrediants beyond the facility. It's the administration and now we have a professional, BHS' very own Dominick Cattero to manage the theatre."
With Cattero's influence, vision and reverence in the theatre community, Disney broadway shows like Beauty and the Beast are possible here (to be presented here in just a few months, November 3 to 6).
Become Part of the Centre
Anyone can purchase bricks or auditorium seat engravings at different prices levels. Proceeds from the purchase will go towards the Fine Arts Centre, and for theater- and music-related needs.
To purchase bricks or seats to benefit the Batavia Music Buffs, click here.
To become a member of the Batavia Music Buffs, click here.
To purchase bricks or seats to benefit S.T.A.G.E., click here.
To become a member of S.T.A.G.E., click here.
To see how far the theater has come since the start of this year, click .