“This isn’t just an auditorium,” said East Rockaway Schools Superintendent Dr. Roseanne Melucci. “This is the heart of our school community. This is the stage our school community uses for public meetings [and] celebrations of our students’ successes. This is the stage where our students’ grandparents, mothers and fathers stood to graduate from this school, and this year’s class of 2013 must continue in the tradition. We must restore this space to be better than ever to show this community that there is hope and there is progress and that we are going to be OK.”
The tidal surge that hit the school during Hurricane Sandy caused an estimated $10 million in damage. The auditorium was flooded by over four feet of water, which destroyed the stage, seats, curtains and props. At the time, the students were planning to present the musical “Seussical,” and they ultimately performed excerpts of the production on a Malverne school stage last month, as a fundraiser for the ERHS auditorium.
“Our Lowe’s heroes are eager to help the students at East Rockaway get their theater performance-ready,” said Joan Higginbotham, the company’s director of community relations.
“During our site visits last year … we saw firsthand how the current economic climate has not only decimated our nation’s art programs, it has delayed desperately needed repairs in school theaters,” said Timothy Allen McDonald, founding chairman of iTheatrics. “‘Smash,’ Lowe’s and Rebuilding Together are doing more than improving school theater programs across the nation — they are shining the spotlight on inspiring schools deserving of support. We hope that community members and businesses will follow their lead and find their own ways to make a difference.”