Lawrence High School was one of five schools nationwide that were voted a grand prize winner among 30 finalists in a contest sponsored by the NBC television show “Smash” and Lowe’s the home improvement franchise.
Winners will receive a $3,000 gift card to repair or improve the school’s performance space. Flooding from Hurricane Sandy damaged Lawrence’s auditorium. Water seeped under the stage and the carpeting and seat cushions had to be replaced.
In addition, the cast of "Smash" will provide theater workshops to the high school students, the school will have the rights to their next production paid for and Lawrence alum and famed shoe designer Steve Madden matched the $3,000, said Gary Schall, the district's superintendent.
The school was closed on Jan. 16, as the electrical system was deemed potentially inoperable after saltwater from Sandy floodwaters corroded the wires. The high school reopened on April 3.
Neighboring Scholars’ Academy in Rockaway Park was also one of the five winners, along with schools in Tennessee, Virginia and California.
Lawrence will celebrate the prizes and mark the official re-opening of the high school auditorium with a performance by the advanced ensemble on April 17 at 7:30 p.m.