By Dawn M. Chiossi
During this time of the year, everyone likes to have something new to add extra zip to life, and West Essex High School in North Caldwell is no exception. To the delight of everyone, they recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to proudly showcase their brand-new renovations to their school auditorium.
Often the school’s auditorium is considered to be the hub of the school for students: From concerts to plays, presentations, lectures, ceremonies and more. It is a place where people gather and memories are made.
But when those events are tarnished by outdated lighting, sound or atmosphere, those memories can be tarnished as well.
Vamping up the auditorium, these extensive upgrades included: Lighting for the stage, house and aisle lights and emergency lighting system integration; Sound for the house, stage, clear communication system, ADA (audio assisted devices) & upgraded microphones including stage microphones; Upgraded rigging system, redesigned sound and light booth, renovated stairs and expanded front apron access and connectivity; Newly updated ceilings, walls, floors, carpeting, seating, and entry access; Stage walls, floor repair, paint, ADA compliant seating; and network connectivity and security.
Although it was a massive undertaking, every remodel was guaranteed to enhance all of the goings-on at West Essex High School.
Excitedly testing them out, West Essex’s Jazz Quintet and Varsity Dance Team performed for all at the ceremony, and everyone was elated.
“We are really excited about the opening of [the high school’s] new, state-of-the-art facility.” Superintendent of Schools Damion Macioci enthused.
He says that these welcome modernizations were a long time in the making, beginning back in March of 2019.
Quickly, this long-running project became a passion. Knowing that it takes a village to accomplish so much, many people devoted their time and energies to this project including Superintendent of Schools Macioci, West Essex High School Principal Caesar Diliberto, West Essex High School’s Supervisor of Fine and Performing Arts, Lisa Swanick–even former Superintendent of Schools, Barbara Longo, and Business Administrator Melissa Kida, and many more.
Dedicated to a mission of academic excellence and social responsibility, West Essex High School seeks to empower its students by inspiring them. Believing that students have a right to a ‘healthy learning climate that encourages individual thought, creativity, and responsiveness to innovation and change,’ the new auditorium renovations can fit right in with that philosophy.
With an expansive devotion to the arts, from music to theatre, West Essex High School does it all. Their ultimate goal regarding the renovations was to benefit everyone, especially the students.
Swanick, who served as the project manager for the renovations and remodel, was especially elated about this as her students will greatly benefit from the refurbishments. “It’s great.”
She excitedly presented a slide show to the crowd at the ceremony, outlining the work as it progressed, ending with brand new state-of-the-art improvements that speak for themselves.
With the cost of approximately $975,000, West Essex can be proud of their fiscal responsibility. The project was entirely funded by existing proceeds in the district’s capital reserve fund.
Now with these refurbishments under their belt, West Essex is ensuring that their students’ memories will be great ones.