NEWS RELEASE for PAGE SCHOOL AUDITORIUM (FORMER JCHS AND SCOTTSBORO HIGH SCHOOL BLDG)
- DO YOU CARE ENOUGH TO HELP?
by Ann Barbee Chambless
The abandoned Page School auditorium is like a neglected old woman
living alone, with its dusty wooden seats and plaster walls with
human-like wrinkles and scars. Like an old lady, the auditorium was once
a busy, productive part of hundreds - no thousands - of young lives.
Students once filled the wooden seats before the 7:55 a.m. trumpet call
sounded the beginning of a new school day as the American flag was
raised and saluted before the first period class. The 500 wooden seats
were occupied by the student body during assembly programs throughout
the school year. The splendid acoustics added to the enjoyment of school
plays and speeches, graduation exercises, piano recitals, and community
supported cultural events.
Now the aged stage curtains silently await a gentle cleaning by caring
hands. Like the old woman, the auditorium has been relegated to the past
and mostly forgotten by the current younger generation. It gets cold in
winter and desperately needs more than aging space heaters to keep the
sprinkler pipes from freezing or, even worse, to prevent a fire from
destroying one of the city's best loved landmarks.
For 30 years, the auditorium has been forgotten in the hearts of men and
women who once flourished and learned within these sacred walls. Like
the old woman, the auditorium has silently waited for its children to
step forward and recognize its immediate, pressing needs.
Recently a small group of Jackson County High School alumni walked down
the auditorium aisles with Tony Ball, Scottsboro City Board of Education
Director of Operations, who shared the prospects of refurbishing this
room which holds so many memories.
Earlier this year, Mr. Ball applied for and received a grant from the
Bynum Foundation that will serve as seed money for the first phase of
refurbishing the Page School auditorium. The first $20,000.00 of the
$50,000.00 grant can be spent as the project manager sees fit. Since the
auditorium will be used for both school and public cultural programs,
the Foundation suggested the local community should match the remaining
The bottom line is ARE YOU WILLING TO HELP RAISE the required
$30,000.00? Are you willing to share this information with your
classmates? Are you willing to be responsible for encouraging your class
to donate as a group as well as seeking individual donations?
All donations to the preservation and refurbishing of the auditorium
will be tax deductible as shown in IRS Publication 526 covering
charitable donations to non-profit schools.
Mr. Ball stated the total cost will be in the neighborhood of
$150,000.00. Approximately $60,000.00 will be required for a heating and
air conditioning system with the State required fresh air sensors. The
cost of replacing the aisle carpet is estimated to be $8,000.00 to
$9,000.00. The most recent renovation occurred in 1979. For this reason
the plaster walls and the ceiling tiles need to be repaired and painted.
The auditorium will need a modern sound system with both house lights
and theatrical lights.
Tony Ball is dedicated to refurbishing and updating the auditorium
without taking away from or detracting from its mid-20th century
appearance. He specifically stated he would recommend leaving the two
old cloth-faced speaker boxes on either side of the stage in their
You are encouraged to share the beauty of the auditorium that is tucked
away in the closet of your memory. IF the school's alumni and the
citizens of Scottsboro do nothing, the auditorium will soon become a
charnel house filled with nothing but fast dying memories.
However, if this preservation project is supported by all the classes
who attended Jackson County High School that became Scottsboro High
School in 1957 and Scottsboro Junior High School in 1967, as well as
individuals and local businesses, the group can make the past work for
Mail your tax deductible donation to Scottsboro City Board of Education,
305 S. Scott Street, Scottsboro, Alabama 35768. Your check should be
payable to Scottsboro City Schools with the designation that the funds
are for the Page auditorium renovation. You CAN make a difference!
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