PV’s High School Auditorium: Out of Frying Pan, Into Fire

By Christie Lohr, staff writer

The Perkiomen Valley High School auditorium is a dead man walking. This auditorium has been around for many years, and no attention is ever drawn to it, as well as no renovations have ever truly occurred.

In today’s society, high schools tend to focus more on sports rather than the arts. PV’s auditorium is proof of that. This auditorium is straight from the 1970’s, which is when PV high school was first built.

Not only does the auditorium look old, but it is becoming unsafe for the students. Kids are getting splinters from the old, wooden stage during musical practice or play rehearsal. The curtains have major rips and holes throughout them, and the stairs that lead off the stage are uneven.

The auditorium at the high school doesn’t just host musical practice, concerts, or the fall play, but also study halls which occur everyday for high school students. This auditorium is not fit for a student’s study hall. There is almost no lighting for anyone to see their schoolwork, and no desks or tables for schoolwork to be placed on. How would a student be able to do schoolwork without a hard surface?

My real concern is that our high school auditorium has been getting overlooked. The high school has had many renovations throughout the building since it was first built. This includes a new addition to the science hall, a new pool, and another gymnasium. But not one mention of any new changes for the auditorium.

However, the high school didn’t completely pass over the auditorium, they decided to focus on the middle school’s auditorium instead. Mrs. Lofton, the president of the school board, explained, “when the district started to significantly expand about 20 years ago and the last addition to the high school was built, the decision was made to make East’s auditorium the primary location for large productions. Therefore, more resources went into East.”

Even though the middle school was given the big renovations for their auditorium rather than the high school, I believe the high school should still be given a makeover. A high school in a school district should be the most focused on, and therefore should be given the advancements for the auditorium over the middle school.

Plus, it is a hassle for musical productions to have to transport all of the set pieces and restage the show on a new stage once they move to Middle School East auditorium. It would be a convenience for the high school to allow the high school’s musical to perform on the high school stage.

Looking back at this list of renovations you may notice that two of the three things listed happen to be tied in with athletics, and none of them mention any music department reconstructions.

At PV school district, $926,988 is spent on the athletic department. That number is extremely close to $1 million spent on sports, with 11 percent of this money ($97,501) going towards football.

You can guess how much money is going to the music department, it is significantly lower than the athletics. The music department receives only $91,158. That is more than $6,000 lower than what the football program by itself receives.

A school’s auditorium is a place that the public will be able to enter, so why would a school want to present a rundown, ancient auditorium? School assemblies take place in this auditorium as well, and the auditorium can’t even hold all the high school students. So that means the school could never have an assembly for all high school grades, but only one grade by themselves. 

Perkiomen Valley should step up to the task, and improve their auditorium. In my opinion, this auditorium is an embarrassment for the school. So let’s not just let this injustice falter behind us, but make it known, and seize this responsibility.

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