Pepper believes that every project we build has a special purpose and a unique opportunity to impact the lives of the people who live, work and play in those spaces. This is vividly apparent in the K-12 market, which impacts the lives of thousands of students every day. Jamie Fletcher, a Cary-Grove High School graduate and a recent Pepper marketing intern, recalls an experience with construction that affected her and other students at Cary-Grove in a tangible way.
In 2015, Pepper built a new 27,000-square-foot auditorium for Cary-Grove High School. The 650-seat theater included an accompanying lobby, multipurpose room, restrooms, dressing rooms and scene shop. Fletcher said that when her class found out that there was going to be a new auditorium, everyone was ecstatic.
"Cary-Groves' music department was so large and important to the school, we just didn’t have a choir room and auditorium to match," she stated.
A year later, when the new auditorium was open, the students and staff were amazed at their new space.
"Walking around backstage, we realized we didn't have to be shoved into little corners in the choir room to change during the musicals anymore. We no longer needed to navigate small spaces backstage to get to wherever we had to appear when the curtain opened. To most people, this might not seem like much, but to the students in the music department, it had a huge impact. We were blown away."
Later that Fall, Cary-Grove Juniors and Seniors put on the very first performance on the new stage, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Shortly after that, the team produced "Cinderella." Cary-Grove and its performance of "Cinderella" in the new auditorium was named Best Production by the 2016 Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards.
The relationship between the lives of the students who performed on that stage and the work that went into building it is what we love to see. Construction is about more than just concrete and steel. It's about making a positive impact on someone's life just by creating something new, and that is what we strive to do every day.