Just two years into a three-year fundraising campaign, the group raising money to upgrade ’s auditorium has already reached its goal of $52,000.
“The original goal was to get $52,000 for a projector system and lighting. We have met that goal essentially a year early,” said Tracy Kearney, a Romona parent who helped with the campaign.
The school requested the mounted projection system because the old LCD system was taking up seating for students.
“You can’t sit in front of it because it projects at the back of the children’s heads,” said Romona Elementary School Principal Heather Glowacki.
This will be the first major projector upgrade for the auditorium since it was built more than 50 years ago, according to Romona’s general music teacher Tina Honore.
The upgrade is scheduled for summer of 2013 with completion by fall of 2013. Apart from the projector system, the school will also be getting theater-grade lighting system and a facelift.
“I’ve been auditorium for so many years, I know the limitations of what they are and I’m excited to see the future of it,” Honore said. “We are getting new carpeting, painting on the wall, all of this stuff hasn’t been done in many years and we are updating for better sound and light."
Parents taking care of innovating school
For the past two years, the Parent Teacher Association and the Lights Camera Auditorium Committee, a group of Romona parents dedicated to raising money for the projector and lighting upgrades, has been working with the school, on fundraising campaigns.
“District 39 will take care of the renovation (seating, carpet and painting) and our PTA will take care of the innovation (projector system and theater lighting,” according to the PTA website.
The PTA dedicated one of its major galas in 2011 and raised $15,000 toward the upgrade. Other campaigns included, Take a Seat, Leave Your Legacy, which encourages alums and teachers to purchase a seat with a personalized brass plate in the auditorium. So far the campaign has raised $10,000 according to Kearney.
For many of the parents who volunteer their time, it was a way to thank the school.
“All three of my children are having a fantastic experience at school, their needs are met they are taught, too, and I’m just really thrilled with it so this is just a way to give back,” said Kearney, chair of the Lights Camera Auditorium Committee.
Working hard for more improvements
With a year left in the fundraising campaign, the PTA and the committee hope to raise more money for more improvements.
“We are hoping for an upgrade to a surround sound system so we can do things with smartboards,” said music teacher Honore. “This would mean we would be wired for any other technology we would need in the future, too.”
Other items on the wish list include curtains and a new piano.
“I think with the upgrades, we will be able to do more in the auditorium, for the school and community wide,” Honore said.
Romona School parent Kearney agrees.
“Romona auditorium is like the foyer, living room of our school,” she said. “It’s where everyone gathers, it’s where the community comes in and the school gathers –it’s kind of like a pride point.”