Madrid-Waddington Central School students rehearse on stage for a production of the musical “9 to 5” in April 2016. Submitted photo

MADRID — State Senator Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, announced Tuesday she has secured $50,000 in state funding for continued upgrades to Madrid-Waddington Central School District’s auditorium.

Last year, Madrid-Waddington Central School, 2582 Route 345, replaced the auditorium’s stage flooring and show curtains, and the $50,000 has been designated to help cover the cost of those replacements.

“I am pleased to have secured funding for this equipment, which will help enrich the educational experience for students at the Madrid-Waddington Central School District, as well as improve the school’s auditorium for all others from the community who might use it,” Sen. Ritchie said in a press release.

After determining the auditorium was in need of new stage flooring and curtains last year, the district reached out to Mrs. Ritchie, who was “kind and supportive,” MWCS Superintendent Eric Burke said this week.

“Students in our productions have certainly noticed a smoother floor and easier curtain pulls,” Mr. Burke said, adding that students who work behind the scenes moving set pieces and pulling on cue have most directly benefited from the upgrades.

The one-building, K-12 school has received funding to defray the costs of its auditorium upgrades in support of the school’s Drama Club, productions and music department over the last few years.

In 2017, Mrs. Ritchie acquired $15,000 for Madrid-Waddington to upgrade its audio and visual equipment in the auditorium, and in 2014, a Waddington couple raised money to help the school purchase its first grand piano, a 5-foot Wurlitzer baby grand. Judy T. and Lawrence E. Jones raffled off hand-blown glass ornaments, a Christmas tree and tree skirt to raise money for the piano for the music department.

Continued funding support for Madrid-Waddington’s auditorium is outlined in the district’s $5 million dollar capital project plan passed in December by referendum vote, 104 to 9.

Theatrical lighting upgrades for the auditorium are included in the project, which also incorporates reconstructions of locker rooms, areas of the technology shop, the parking lot, sidewalks, flooring, ventilation work and improvements to varsity soccer, baseball and softball fields.

Offset by $560,000 from the district’s capital reserve fund, the remaining portion of the total $5,024,883 project is expected to be repaid over a 15-year period.

With a previous project nearing full repayment and less than 9% of the capital project budget funded by local taxes, overall local tax impact related to the projects should be net-zero, according to the school district.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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