Marietta HS auditorium set to open in July: Berens expresses concern over choice of chandeliers
by Lindsay Field
June 12, 2013 12:09 AM | 2376 views | 10 10 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Multi-colored lighting fixtures in Marietta High School colors adorn the foyer ceiling of the new constructed fine arts wing at the school. STAFF/KELLY J. HUFF
Multi-colored lighting fixtures in Marietta High School colors adorn the foyer ceiling of the new constructed fine arts wing at the school. STAFF/KELLY J. HUFF
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In this  MDJ File photo - Marietta High School Principal Leigh Colburn, left, and Marietta School Board member Irene Berens, right, discuss the possibility of acquiring marley flooring for the auditorium stage for dancers while touring the new facility still under construction as school board member Tom Cheater listens.  MDJ Staff/Laura Moon.
In this MDJ File photo - Marietta High School Principal Leigh Colburn, left, and Marietta School Board member Irene Berens, right, discuss the possibility of acquiring marley flooring for the auditorium stage for dancers while touring the new facility still under construction as school board member Tom Cheater listens. MDJ Staff/Laura Moon.
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MARIETTA — The new $8.5 million, 750-seat Marietta High School auditorium is scheduled to open on time in July, although there is a little heartburn about the chandeliers that grace the front lobby.

“It just doesn’t make that impact statement we had envisioned,” said school board member Irene Berens.

“They are apparently hand-blown glass balls, but they look like basketballs, and everybody seems to agree that they don’t look right.”

Architect Bob Sussenbach with CGLS of Atlanta updated the school board Tuesday night on the construction status of the new auditorium and the renovations of the choral and dance rooms adjoining it.

In response to board and staff complaints, Sussenbach said he’s contacted the chandelier manufacturer to see if he can return the fixtures.

Another concern he addressed was whether the choral and dance rooms would be complete when the auditorium is scheduled to open July 28.

Sussenbach said the barrier wall between the two rooms took a little longer than expected but now the contractor, Decatur-based Diversified Construction of Georgia, says it will be able to play catchup.

The board approved a $256,000 contract with Diversified Construction in December, and while the auditorium construction is being funded by a bond, the contract payment is being paid for out of the district’s building fund.

The auditorium, which is about 85 percent complete, is on track to open just in time for district teachers to hold their annual start of school kickoff celebration inside.

“We are installing seats, working on the stage rigging and getting close to allowing (band director David DuBo-se) to move his equipment in,” Sussenbach said.

Technology upgrade

In other business, the board unanimously approved a $208,341 contract with DELL to purchase 220 laptops and 50 storage carts for the high school. The cost will be funded by SPLOST III.

This contract was one of many technology purchases, valued at more than $1 million, which the board has approved this school year.

Board member Tony Fasola asked the district’s director of technology, David Digiovanni, if they’d ever be done buying laptops.

“I don’t see us getting away from laptops for at least the next couple of years,” Digiovanni said. “Teachers prefer laptops, and I’m all for new technology, but iPads do not work well for testing and other programs our teachers use.” He said laptops are more durable and solid than tablets.

This purchase was part of the district’s continued technology plan, recently approved by the board, so that every student has access to a computer device throughout the school day.

Board member Stuart Fleming instructed staff to bring that plan back at an upcoming meeting so the board may see how many laptops it has to purchase in the future.
Comments
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Ax the High School
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June 19, 2013
Can't the City of Marietta school system be comprised exclusively of elementary schools? Why do we even have this high school?

The children of most Cobb/Marietta "haves" will go to a private school after elementary school.

If anyone actually WANTS to go to a public 6th grade class or higher, they can go to a Cobb County school perfectly fine.

We could save countless millions of dollars per year we currently flush down this magnificent looking yet apparently incomplete toilet.

The building would make a nice WalMart, wouldn't it?
Murano Glass
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June 12, 2013
Reminds me of Venice, Italy! Very well done. Adds a nice touch to the historic brick used in the facade. Keep the lights. The naysayers are just grumpy anyway.
Nice Job
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June 12, 2013
I am happy they have a nice auditorium, I think the money was well spent. No matter what they build the same people come here to whine over and over again. Now it's about the lights, and they will likely complain about those lights here for years, just like the mules and the astroturf. Get over it, most of want a nice school we can be proud of and a nice environment for our kids to learn.
hahahah
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June 12, 2013
My gosh - this article has brought out the crazies! Keep blogging- I need a good laugh!
Fits Overall Design
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June 12, 2013
Given the poorly designed, aesthetically unattractive, untasteful exterior of the school, these lights fit right in. Plus, how does someone make a mistake like that? Apparently someone with the school system knows someone else who is a lighting contractor. Now the taxpayers get to pay for another set of lights which will not make the building any better looking.
anonymous
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June 12, 2013
Ever hear of return for a refund or credit??
Just Sayin'....
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June 12, 2013
Oh GOOD heavens....while I am sure her intent is well placed....chandeliers??? Really????
dustoff
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June 12, 2013
So you rocket scientist pay $11,000 per seat for an building that will probably sit unused 90% of the time. Then you make the news because the light fixtures do not make a statement.

And you wonder why people do not support the SPLOST.
Gringo Bandito
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June 12, 2013
8 million dollars? I remember when the original cost of the entire school was supposed to be 8 million dollars.
thems glass BALLS
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June 12, 2013
"Hand-blown glass balls" don't "impact statement we had envisioned,” said school board member Irene Berens.

What is the impact statement she wished to make without any balls?

"We got SPLOST passed again, so look here at the riches of our taxpayer funded school system."

That seems quite ballsy if you ask me.

Is Lance Lamberton collecting these school board quotes for our next spring time (aka "faux")tax vote? Or is Tim Lee sucessfully going to sideline Lamberton by redirecting his focus ontp the SPLOST it's already too late to do anything about?

Turn him down, Lamberton, he just wants to distract you with something you can't do a darn thing about. Cupid is playing Lee's game.
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