RUMSON – A complete overhaul of the outdoor snack facility, a state-of-the-art fitness center and upgrades to the auditorium sound and lighting systems are a few of the building improvements now taking place at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.
“These improvements are being funded through responsible fiscal management over the past 10 years or so as well as the generosity of the community,” said Pete Righi, RFH superintendent. “All of these enhancements are being accomplished without any need to raise taxes.”
The projects are expected to be completed by Aug. 31, just before the start of classes.
One improvement is the replacement of the outdoor snack shed known as “The Dawghouse,” named in honor of the school’s bulldog mascot. A new Dawghouse at the same location will include the addition of indoor women’s and men’s restrooms. Outdoor cooking and serving facilities also will be in place in time for fall events.
A new storage shed is being built to provide adequate housing for sports, music and other equipment associated with school activities.
“By bringing equipment such as football training gear indoors instead of leaving it exposed to the elements, we are adding to its longevity and saving money,” Righi said.
The storage facility will eliminate the need to store music equipment in classrooms and will replace the trailers now located near the visiting team’s seating section of Borden Stadium.
The school’s lower gym is also being completely overhauled. Designed with the input of physical education teachers Rob Orrick and Joe Murphy, who have a background in personal training, it will feature a full array of state-of-the-art equipment. Students who want an individualized nutrition and fitness regimen can now have one created by their physical education instructors. They can then use the new equipment to carry out recommended exercise routines.
A generous grant from The Touchdown Club, a non-profit group established to develop high school and youth football programs, helped to finance the lower gym renovations.
Another project coming to fruition is the installation of new and improved sound and lighting systems in the RFH auditorium. The new sound system will feature improved audio quality and eliminate the need to hire an outside contractor, as the school has done for past productions. The new lighting system will feature a larger number of lights and better options for students directing them, including the use of tablet-type computers.
A generous donation of $45,750 toward the installation of the new sound and lighting systems was made possible by fundraising efforts of the RFH High School Foundation, which supports projects that enrich the high school education program. Funds raised by upcoming foundation events have also been earmarked for the project. The Performing Arts Society, a volunteer organization of parents and community members supporting RFH performing arts programs, donated an additional $8,500 toward the sound and lighting improvements.
Finally, the classroom where ceramics instruction is held has been refurbished with a poured and sealed floor, new freestanding peninsula-style sinks, new workstations and new cabinetry. Another classroom used by the art program is also slated for major renovations within the next few years.
Righi is pleased with the scope and progress of the building improvements taking place at RFH.
“We already have vibrant programs across the board, and now we can provide facilities that add to the experiences of our students and spectators,” he said.
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