Plainville Community Schools, 47 Robert Holcomb Way, Plainville CT 06062, (860)793-3200

Student And Staff Teamwork Results In Refurbished Middle School Auditorium

The auditorium at the Middle School of Plainville has received a "facelift" thanks to the hard work and efforts of a number of district staff and students.

Many of the auditorium curtains were in disrepair and the stage was not usable as a choir space. Todd Helming, choral and music teacher at the Middle School, sought the assistance of Plainville High School faculty member and Theater Tech Club Advisor T.J. Riccardo, to assist with creating plans for an update of the auditorium space, with the goal of improving the aesthetics of the space and expanding the acoustics and projection from the stage into the audience. Riccardo, together with students in the Plainville High School Theater Tech Club created four plan options incorporating a variety of materials. The plan was submitted to a local theater/stage refurbishing company, with cost estimates for the job ranging from $40,000 - $50,000. Riccardo proposed that the project be completed by district staff and students to reduce costs. The project was reviewed and authorized by district Facilities Director Steve Busel and Plainville Fire Marshal Larry Sutherland in December of 2011, and work began on the project.

This was a true Plainville Community Schools effort. Plainville High School Technology Education teacher Dean Esposti and his students built wall frames and ceiling panels. Plainville Community Schools' Facilities Department staff members Terry Archer and Marty Brennan worked with Riccardo and the Tech Club students, overseeing construction of the acoustic walls. Senior members of the high school's Theater Tech Club, Mr. Riccardo, Mr. Helming and the Facilities Department staff spent their winter break working on the project. Over the last four months the crew has continued working diligently on the project, and on May 30, 2012, it was completed at a significantly reduced cost of $6,000. "This was an enormous project that was able to be conquered by the Plainville school community and we are all happy to have made the MSP theater into a usable stage to showcase their fine talent," said Riccardo.

"On May 31, our seventh grade chorus concert was presented in the newly refurbished space. The reaction from parents and students was phenomenal. Musically, aesthetically, and functionally everything exceeded our expectations. Collaborations like this benefit the entire community by providing hands on learning opportunities, improving our facilities, and saving the town money. The leadership of T.J. and his students was invaluable," noted Helming.

"The improvement in sound is significant. Not only will our students benefit, but the entire community, as many groups use the auditorium. We are fortunate to have such talented folks working for the district. A fantastic job at a great savings," said Middle School of Plainville Principal, Matthew Guarino.

-Posted on June 12, 2012 at 05:07 PM

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