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Pelham Honors Alumni with Auditorium Dedication

PELHAM, N.Y. – Before Monday night’s Pelham Board of Education meeting, school officials dedicated the new Pelham Memorial High School auditorium during a ceremony in front of local officials and graduates of the school.

The room, which can seat more than 100, has been named Alumni Hall “in honor of all the students who have walked through the doors of this great school,” said Pelham Board of Education President Robert Eicher in his opening remarks.

New York State Assembly Member Amy Paulin, Pelham Middle School Principal Joseph Longobardi, former Town Supervisor Joe Solimine, current town Supervisor Peter DiPaola and the entire Pelham Board of Education were present for the dedication.

Alumni Hall was part of the district-wide “rehabilitation and upgrades” that began in 2008 as a $24 million capital project. While the room was meant to be split into two classrooms, school officials quickly changed plans when they realized they could use the room to encompass more than just classes.

“We had a recommendation to stop any further demolition and construction and to reevaluate our options for this room,” Eicher said upon realizing the potential of the room. “What you see here today is the result of the reevaluation of our options.”

However, they did not have enough money to transform the room into what they would like, and thus received a $150,000 member item grant from Assembly member Amy Paulin.

The room cost several hundred thousand dollars and features woodwork “consistent with the junior auditorium” and “several panels of stained glass are original.” The room previously served as a classroom, auditorium, weight room, office and choral room. Now it will be used as a classroom at times in addition to events and board of education meetings being held there.

The room features a television and projector, which could both be utilized for students to interact with people who are not local in distance learning programs.

During the dedication, school officials unveiled a bronze statue of alumnus Michael Schwerner who was murdered for his active role in the Civil Rights movement. They also pointed out the 9/11 flag, which the school district received from the town on the 10th anniversary, in order to “honor all the residents of Pelham who died on that terrible day.”

Susan Schliemann, 1962 Pelham Memorial graduate, thought that the room was “beautiful” and Michael Tromblee, the director of technology for the Pelham Union Free School District, said it’s a great space that truly captures the tradition of Pelham.

“Pelham has a great history of honoring its alumni and having a plethora of alumni who have made contributions both in the military and civics,” Tromblee said. “I think it’s a great place to have them honored and also to pass that on to future generations of Pelhamites who are walking through the halls.”

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