Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg High students have their auditorium back

ST. PETERSBURG — There's a fresh coat of paint and new curtains in the St. Petersburg High auditorium.

Signs from last fall's fire, which caused water damage to the historic facility, are nearly gone.

Well, unless one spends a lot of time there, like members of the Thespian Troupe.

There are still a couple of curtains missing, some moldy spots on the carpet and bubbles underneath the carpet plastered below the stage, troupe members noted, details they hope will be taken care of by the time they stage Little Mary Sunshine in mid March.

"I'm sure it will be fixed," said Trish Grunz, the drama teacher. "There have been bumps in the road, but we're using it and the kids are at home."

A hot torch left by roofing company staff working on the auditorium on Aug. 31 caused the fire, said St. Petersburg High principal Al Bennett. The sprinklers that came on ruined the sound and lighting equipment and the projection room.

Repairs cost about $350,000, according to Pinellas County School District spokeswoman Melanie Marquez Parra. The district's insurance covers the majority of the cost; district officials are also seeking compensation from the roofing company.

While that is being worked out, school officials reopened the auditorium in December.

Since then, the facility has been used for several events, including the pinning ceremony for the International Baccalaureate students, said Susan Farias, assistant principal and IB coordinator.

"We really missed it," she said. "I didn't realize what an important part of the school it is until it's gone."

During the renovation, students were barred from entering the auditorium; there were clear plastic sheets hung over entrances, said thespians Luisa Laitano, a senior, and Stella Seeger, a junior.

The thespians hang out in the auditorium in the mornings, during lunch and after school, the girls said. Not being able to do that was tough.

"When they let us back here, it was a big day for us," Seeger said. "We had lunch together. It was amazing, it was exactly the way I remembered it."

"I know we're going to get it back eventually," Laitano said.

St. Petersburg High students have their auditorium back 02/23/13 [Last modified: Saturday, February 23, 2013 3:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa man driving ATV killed in Gibsonton crash on U.S. 41

    Public Safety

    GIBSONTON — A 24-year-old man driving an all-terrain vehicle died Monday afternoon in a crash on U.S. 41, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  2. Questions about Russia chase Trump during first Israel visit

    World

    JERUSALEM — President Donald Trump solemnly placed a note in the ancient stones of Jerusalem's Western Wall on Monday, sending a signal of solidarity to an ally he's pushing to work harder toward peace with the Palestinians. But his historic gesture- and his enthusiastic embrace of Israel's leader - were shadowed …

    President Donald Trump shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after making joint statements, Monday in Jerusalem. [AP photo]
  3. Data breach exposes 469 Social Security numbers, thousands of concealed weapons holders

    Corporate

    Social Security numbers for up to 469 people and information about thousands of concealed weapons holders were exposed in a data breach at Florida the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The breach, which the agency believes happened about two weeks ago, occurred in an online payments system, spokesperson …

    Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam on Monday that nearly 500 people may have had their Social Security numbers obtained in a data breach in his office.
[Times file photo]

  4. Trigaux: Can Duke Energy Florida's new chief grow a business when customers use less power?

    Energy

    Let's hope Harry Sideris has a bit of Harry Houdini in him.

    Duke Energy Florida president Harry Sideris laid out his prioriities for the power company ranging from improved customer service to the use of more large-scale solar farms to provide electricity. And he acknowledged a critical challenge: People are using less electricity these days. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  5. Editorial: Preserve wild Florida before it's too late

    Editorials

    The last dairy farm in Hillsborough County has milked its final cow, the pastures sold to developers who will build 1,000 new homes. The remnants of the last commercial citrus grove in Pinellas County, where the Sunshine State's famed industry began in the 19th century, were sold last year to make room for 136 homes. …

    As dairy farms and citrus groves disappear, much more needs to be done to avoid paving over Florida’s wild spaces.