Auditorium renovations become even more elaborate Senior Gift than planned


Kira Suerth

The new seats are the most visible of the many upgrades to the auditorium.

Julia Adams, Staff Writer

Bearden’s auditorium was begging for a change.

The 2015-2016 Senior Committee heard it calling loud and clear when they pitched the idea of a renovated auditorium for their senior gift.

At first the thought seemed silly considering the large amounts of money needed to undergo such an enormous project. However, impossible is not a word that the Senior Committee was willing to accept.

“We made a presentation to the school board about the auditorium and why we wanted it renovated,” 2015-16 Senior Committee member Veronica Allen said. “I interviewed students and asked them why they needed a new auditorium and what the auditorium meant to them.

“We made a video that we used to present to the school board.”

This was just the beginning.

“As time went by, the goals seemed to get bigger and bigger,” Senior Committee sponsor Mrs. Amy Moskal said. “After many presentations to School Board Members, the Knox County Superintendent, the Mayor, community members, alumni, and parents, we decided that with their support we could set our goals even higher.”

At first, the senior committee projected only enough money to replace the auditorium’s chairs. However, Bearden’s auditorium renovations turned out to be much more extensive than simply that. In addition to the new black plastic chairs that have replaced the often broken wooden ones, new light fixtures will soon occupy the place of old ones.

Additionally, the paint color has been changed from off-white to gray. Fresh carpet lines the floors, and new audio will soon be installed.

The new chairs, though, make the biggest impression when walking into the auditorium now.

“Before, they were wooden and would make a ton of noise in the shows,” said junior Annie Wehinger, who is in stage tech. “Some of them were broken, and people had written all over them.”

Mrs. Moskal said she did not doubt the committee’s ability to follow through with the refurbished auditorium as a senior gift for even a second.

“After seeing the students’ enthusiasm and the overwhelming support and encouragement they received from [principal] Dr. [John] Bartlett, I had no doubt that they would succeed,” Mrs. Moskal said.