By Mikaela Adwar
With the unexpected postponement of the annual Fashion and Talent Show, students and parents alike were left baffled by the shocking news. Rumors of a collapsing ceiling in the auditorium spread through Jericho High School like wildfire. All of the speculation was confirmed with an email sent to parents on Jan. 20 from the Director of Public Information and Community Relations at Jericho High School, Denise Nash.
Principal Joan Rosenberg said: “We were told that a small piece of the ceiling had fallen down. Luckily, no one was injured as no one was in the auditorium at the time that it happened. Fortunately, this has been taken care of, but nobody can make a guarantee that something else is not going to happen or that this won’t happen again. Much of what happens in the auditorium involves music, which causes reverberation, which may not be safe. So, the board and central offices agreed to shut down the auditorium for the rest of the year. It was scheduled to start being renovated in June anyway, but unfortunately it could not wait for another three or four months.”
Falling debris was not the only hazard in the auditorium, according to Nash.
“The district has always been aware that there is asbestos in the ceiling of the auditorium,” she said. “After a piece of the ceiling fell, the space was patched and air quality testing was done, which came back completely clear. If there was any concern over the air quality, we would not have students and staff in the building.”
Senior Jillian S., one of the directors of the Fashion and Talent Show, was in shock at the cancellation.
“The directors and I tried to come up with other ideas to try and make it work for Saturday,” she said. “Once we realized that it wasn’t possible, we had to deal with it.”
The Fashion and Talent Show will now take place on Saturday, Feb. 28 at Cantiague Elementary School.
Diversity Day, Choreo and grade-wide meetings all take place in the auditorium. Senior Erica B. looks forward to these events each year.
“The closing of the high school auditorium is a huge disappointment because several of my fellow seniors have been looking forward to their final Choreo and Diversity Day, and their experiences won’t be the same,” she said.
Director of Diversity Day Mrs. Waters notified the high school staff on Jan. 28 that the daytime performance of Diversity Day had been canceled. However, an evening performance took place on Tuesday, Feb. 10 in the Little Theater. When asked about Choreo, Rosenberg said: “We are looking at other venues. We are looking to see how the Fashion and Talent Show goes at Cantiague, to see what the staging looks like and if it is big enough. We hope that with two nights, the venue will be able to hold all those who wish to see it.”
Continue following this story on www.jerecho.org.