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Bethel Schools Auditorium Getting a Facelift

By JOHN BADEN

Record Herald Writer

Courtesy of the Record Herald; Printed 12.2.12 

BETHEL TOWNSHIP – Over the last century, Bethel Local Schools’ auditorium has hosted many concerts and musical productions, but now the historic centerpiece to the school’s campus is being revamped.

Completed in 1918, the auditorium, which is inside the elementary school building, underwent its first renovation in 1976 when the room had wooden seats and windows on one side of the room.

Since this past summer, the auditorium has been repainted and graced with new carpet, wiring and green and black curtains, which were just put up last weekend. According to the school website, all of these additions and replacements were done through capital improvement funds.

The project is far from done though, as the school expects to replace the room’s seating in January.

This part of the project is not being done by the school, but by Greystone Public Seating LLC, a private company out of Michigan.

As a result, the school is turning to businesses, foundations, graduates and residents for the funding through donations.

Danny Elam, Bethel’s band and choir director for the past 26 years, has been volunteering to raise money for this third phase in the transformation since August. He said that the original plan didn’t have new seating on the list.

“I just thought it was going to look so nice that it was a shame not to have it,” Elam said.

The plan will remove 295 plastic chairs from the auditorium and replace them with 284 plush, durable chairs and new flooring tiles.

“Now everyone will have a comfortable seat to sit in instead of enduring a two-and-a-half hour musical in a hard, plastic seat,” Elam said. “Everyone should be much more comfortable.”

Elam also said that the chairs will also benefit others by bringing the volume of sound down in the room.

“It will cut down on the reverberation because the fabric on the chairs will help to knock some of that down,” Elam said.

According to Elam, the reason for fewer chairs is because the tech desk in the back will be expanded, and handicapped seating will be installed in some areas in the room.

With a couple months left to go, Elam said that the renovations are “looking great so far.”

“It’s all going to be very nice,” Elam said. “It’ll be the nicest place in the school, probably the nicest place in the township.”

By the end of January, the total amount needed to be raised for the seats will be $42,000. Elam said that after a few months and two successful open houses at the school, which informed the public of the project through a PowerPoint presentation and a seat salesman, $27,000 has currently been donated and pledged.

If you would like to donate to the Bethel Auditorium Renovation project, call Danny Elam at (937) 845-9487 or log onto www.bethel.k12.oh.us and scroll down to the “Active Fundraiser” graphic.

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Tipp News
Mike McDermott is publisher of several web news properties, including this one. Long time resident, and local business owner, Mike McDermott lives in the downtown and fiercely defends Tipp City's honor at home and abroad.
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