Light at the end of the mold

When teachers and administration began to return to school they made a startling discovery of mold in the auditorium. Now, due to these unforeseen circumstances, the auditorium has been under construction for about a month. With some students’ return soon, there is a lot to be discussed about what is to come next.

The teacher in charge of all the repairs being done on the auditorium is Alaina Butler, the high school drama teacher. “The majority of the work on the theatre is already done,” Butler said. “We are currently waiting on the installation for the new curtains but that should take place at some point in October.”

Some other teachers have also been affected by the work being done in the auditorium. With teachers already having a difficult time teaching through at home learning and with this added difficulty it has become harder for some teachers in this new environment. Middle and High school dance teacher Lauren Broeckelmann is one of those teachers displaced by the work being done. “Well the work in the auditorium has impacted me because I have been teaching from the theater lobby instead! I feel sort of silly because I am always stretching and dancing as people walk by,” Broeckelmann said. “However, sometimes other teachers join in, so that is fun! It was a little frustrating in the first week of school because I could not find the right set up for Zoom. However, once I got my students projected on the wall and I could see their movements better, it became much easier.”

There have been small but important changes made to the auditorium in hopes of making it a better environment for those who work and perform in it. “The mold was removed from the theatre and it was thoroughly cleaned,” Butler said. “The backstage, dressing rooms, and stage floor were painted. We are also getting new stage curtains.” The students who perform there are looking forward to the changes that are being made. “I’m super excited to see what the renovated auditorium looks like because I think it was very much needed,” said junior Kennedy Mulvey, who is a part of the high school drama department. “I can’t wait till we can start having shows in it again.”

With students coming back before the repairs will be done it will affect how some of the students coming in will be learning. “I think it will take a few classes to find a balance between teaching in person while having students on Zoom. I want to ensure that all students, whether on Zoom or in person, are still feeling the same energy from me,” Broeckelmann said. “For the students in class, I will need to set up very specific protocols regarding ‘socially distanced dance space’, auditorium seating
and dressing out.”

Even with all the difficulties the repairs have caused, once everything is finished, lots of students and faculty will be happy to enjoy their new performance space. “I am optimistic that the repairs will be complete by the end of October,” Mrs. Butler said. “I am excited for the space to be completed. In some ways this was a blessing in disguise as it gave us the time and space to be able to do some much-needed refreshing.”