EHS musical programs at theater questioned

With use of the auditorium at Eisenhower Middle High School not feasible due to upcoming renovations, a school play, band concert and choral concert will now be held at the Struthers Library Theatre in downtown Warren.

The play, which requires use of the facility on April 25-27 at a cost of $1,350, did not generate discussion at Monday night’s board meeting. Logistical concerns make using a district facility not feasible for that event. The contract with the theater was approved unanimously.

The band and choral concerts stirred more discussion.

“Performing at (the) Struthers is an experience in itself,” board member John Grant said.

Board President Arthur Stewart said that the teachers involved are excited about the possible use of the Struthers as it is “out of what they would normally be able to do.”

“I think it would behoove us to give them their day,” board member Jack Werner said.

Stewart asked, “wanting to treat (everyone) equitably,” whether activities have been moved from school to school based on construction situations.

Acting Superintendent Amy Stewart said students at Beaty-Warren Middle School have been practicing, and holding events, at other central attendance area schools.

While board vice president Donna Zariczny said that the use of the Struthers for these concerts “would be a great educational experience,” she asked Dr. Norbert Kennerknecht, director of buildings and grounds, how long construction could take at Eisenhower.

When he said construction would continue through the next academic year, Zariczny said that approving these requests would be “a whole nother year of precedent we set.”

Amy Stewart said that district buildings would be available on May 2 and May 22 to house these events. She explained that the list of events originally slated to be held at Eisenhower has been significantly reduced. One event was held at a local church and elementary school gatherings that have been traditionally held at Eisenhower were kept at Sugar Grove and Russell this year.

“There is a combination of strategies being utilized,” she said.

When put to a vote, both the May 2 and May 22 requests, costing $550 each, were passed in votes by a margin of 5-3. In both instances, Arthur Stewart, Zariczny and Mary Anne Paris voted in opposition.