The band room at John F. Kennedy High School has that pleasant “new house” scent, thanks to new carpet, paint, wood and acoustic panels--and the dedication of a parent organization called the Shamrock Regiment Boosters.
The band room that returning student musicians will see this fall is a stark contrast to the dingy chamber that they left for summer vacation. “It was in disrepair,” band director Bob Anthony said. “The ceiling and tiles had lots of holes in them. The carpets were old, and there were two different carpets, not of the same color.”
Anthony joined parents this week for final touch-up painting and tidying up. The renovated band room not only creates a pleasant atmosphere in which students can practice and study, he said, “it shows that some attention has been paid here--care and money and work.”
The Shamrock Regiment Boosters who donated their time and money are parents of students in either the band or the accompanying flag and dance teams. They stepped in when an increasingly tight school budget forced maintenance to be deferred.
Keith Nelson, a former La Palma mayor and a parent who is head of the boosters club, estimated that the organization raised $17,000 in money and materials. Parents and students did much of the work.
“Everything in the old room was very depressing,” Nelson said. “Even the air conditioners were filthy and about 60% clogged until we cleaned them out.”
The volunteers also refurbished the band director’s office and the rehearsal room. “You should have seen them before we started work,” Nelson said.
Most of the parents working on the project have children who will be band students this fall. An exception is Gil Ruiz, whose child graduated in June.
“I’m an alumni parent,” he joked as he worked this week. “I’ve had three children who played in the band. I was glad to help.”