SP Elementary to Show Off Auditorium
Many plan to be in downtown Southern Pines Saturday for the town’s annual Christmas parade.
But Marcy Cooper, principal of Southern Pines Elementary School, and officials from the school system hope spectators will also take the time to stop by the campus for a tour of the school’s newly renovated auditorium.
During the open house, which is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., visitors will be able to see new seats, windows and stage curtains, as well as other updates to Weaver Auditorium, which was built in 1948 and named after the superintendent of the Southern Pines school system before Moore County consolidated schools into one district.
The auditorium has been under renovation since August.
According to Mike Griffin, the school system’s chief finance officer, the $150,000 project was funded by sales tax refunds on the school system’s bond projects.
Typically, the school system pays sales taxes during construction projects and is eligible for a refund after projects are completed. Griffin said these refunds help the school system fund facility or technology improvements.
The campus, located on the corner of May Street and Massachusetts Avenue, was originally opened as a K-12 school in 1947. The school was later known as East Southern Pines High School before school integration.
Friends of the Southern Pines Public Library will also be in the auditorium selling their annual Christmas landmark ornament, which depicts the original campus of Southern Pines Elementary. The ornaments are $25 and benefit the organization’s activities.
On Thursday, Cooper was arranging poinsettias to make the auditorium more festive for the open house. She sees the improved space as an asset that will be enjoyed for more years to come.
“It’s an opportunity for our students and the community to have something new,” Cooper said.
The third grade will present a holiday program at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13, which will be the first school performance in the space.
Cooper said the auditorium will also be used for community events. The Arts Council of Moore County already plans to use the space for some of its upcoming events in partnership with the school.
Cooper believes visitors will bring their own memories of the auditorium with them on Saturday.
She hopes that residents who remember sitting in the old auditorium as students will enjoy coming back to see the changes and remember their time at the school, while newcomers will be able to come appreciate the building as one of the school’s original structures.
Anyone needing more information about the open house can call the school at (910) 692-2357.
Contact Hannah Sharpe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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