James A. Garfield High School is a public, year-round high school founded in 1925 in East Los Angeles. The auditorium, constructed in 1924, was burned badly by an arsonist on May 20, 2007. The project goal for the new auditorium is to combine the essence of the historical building with modern architecture. The preliminary plan includes sophisticated lighting and sound systems, a larger stage to facilitate music and dance productions and improved sight lines. The design seeks to replicate the decorative paneled ceiling, the Depression-era chandeliers, wooden seating and ornate trim of the original space. The main objective is to retain the auditorium's place as a center of activity in its East Los Angeles neighborhood while providing Garfield students with a facility that will compete with the best arts-themed high schools. The new Auditorium will be a multi-purpose performance/teaching space, which provides an acoustical environment appropriate for music, theater, and dance. The Hall will be the home of the Performing Arts Academy, which at the present time offers performance opportunities in Choir, Children's Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Recital Hall for Concerts and Musical Theatre. The facility will also support a Technical Theatre Program and, on occasion, may host outside presenters as well.