New Amphitheater on East Campus

by Nina Karim '11

This fall, as renovations took place to transition the former Wynn Science Center to become the new Wynn Academic Center on East Campus, the university also made room for a large, open-air amphitheater behind the building, formerly the location of the science "bowl." This will be APU's first formal amphitheater, designed to facilitate community in the outdoors and encourages students to gather together.

The new venue provides a study space in a beautiful, open-air atmosphere, while also serving as a location for large groups to gather and listen to speakers or music groups. It will also be available to book for weddings and wedding receptions.

"I believe this new green space will not only enhance the look of the campus, but provide a great atmosphere for individuals to study, as well as small and large groups to gather in community," said Roger Hodsdon, director for APU's office of auxiliary services.

APU President Jon Wallace, DBA, was the visionary and driving force behind the Amphitheater Project. He envisions addressing the incoming student class in this garden setting, which holds nearly 1,200 people and more with standing room only.

Upon finalizing the completion of the project, members of APU's Student Government Association (SGA) were invited to join Wallace, Azusa Mayor Joe Rocha, and others to plant trees and flowers in the areas near the amphitheater.

"The opportunity to be a part of the construction of the new amphitheater was fun," said SGA speaker of the house, Sashi Anderson. "I think it will be a great new space for students to gather in an outdoor setting, and I commend APU for using that space in a functional way."

The amphitheater is expected to be ready for student use by spring 2010.

Update as of April 28, 2010:

The amphitheater at the Wynn Academic Complex is complete! Check out the photos added to the sidebar of this page, including Jon Wallace and representatives from Hodgdon-Miank Construction Inc., who gave $35,000 to help fund the project. Now complete, the amphitheater includes seating space for about 1,100, with enough space on the grass for 200-400 more, depending on set up. The space includes a cactus garden, as well as a new pond and waterfall, home to several Koi, goldfish, and turtles.

The amphitheater has already been utilized by students congregating between classes, meeting for lunch, or studying in the spring sun. In addition, a leadership chapel took place with all campus student leaders, and more recently the final Wednesday night Kaleo Chapel of the semester was held there as well. In May, APU's summer theater production for youth and families will take place in this outdoor venue, a fitting location to gather and watch A Year with Frog and Toad.

Drop by and check out the completed amphitheater next time you're in the area.