M U LT I - P U R P O S E
It’s difficult to explain the standard elementary performance area, because no such standard exists. Unlike a secondary school where there is usually an auditorium, relatively few elementary schools have a dedicated formal performance area. Most often, a larger area in an elementary school, like the lunchroom or gymnasium, is designed for multi-purpose use.
Creating an effective multi-purpose room means thinking beyond food service in the lunchroom or phy-ed in the gym. In most elementary schools, these areas have to be equally effective for both school and community assemblies, sports programs, guest speakers, plays, recitals, band or orchestra concerts, pageants, choir concerts, holiday events, parties, carnivals and on and on.
More than any other area, the multi-purpose room becomes the show-place of the school. This is where parents come to enjoy the accomplishments of their children and it’s where the school is showcased to the community. It’s very important that the room provide a flexible, functional, positive environment.
THE MUSIC PERSPECTIVE
In these areas, our expertise is focused on music department performances. But many of the recommendations we make about size and layout also apply to creating a facility that is functional for a variety of other uses.
Based on an elementary school, grades K-5 with a student body of 550, the following chart gives an approximate outline of how a music department will use the multi-purpose area and how many group members and audience members will need to be accommodated. It’s important to note that while there are average audience sizes given for different performances, the ideal multi-purpose area should be designed to accommodate the entire student body for all-school assemblies and functions.
Performances Typical Annual
of Performers Typical Number
Typical Audience Size
150 - 300
300 - 800
A p p r o x i m a t e S p a c e N e e d e d 3 0 0 0 - 6 0 0 0 s q . f t .