Auditorium Chair Sponsorship

Dear Parents & Friends of Lily B,

Our auditorium is the heart of our school community and continues to be well used, as the school is home to a music program and presents monthly performances by the children. Lily B. Clayton is fortunate that the performing arts continue to be an active part of our children’s curriculum as we work towards the ultimate goal of preserving and improving the students’ learning environment for future generations. The children are well served by the preservation of this auditorium and thereby, a valuable piece of Fort Worth history. This project is not only academically worthwhile, but is a unique example of the partnership between the parents, the school district, and the community.

Lily B. Clayton, located in the heart of the Berkeley and Mistletoe Heights neighborhoods at 2000 Park Place, opened its doors to the first students in February 1922. The school was expanded in 1936 as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, with an addition designed by local architect Preston M. Geren. The building was designated a Historic and City Landmark in 1990 by the mayor of Fort Worth and the Historic Landmark Commission. Ours is a true community school with a diverse population offering a quality education to its children.

However, only the exterior of the school is protected as a designated city landmark. With splintered seats, garbled acoustics, and falling plaster, it was obvious to the PTA that the auditorium was in need of significant renovations. We undertook a nine-month stewardship project to determine how the auditorium could be renovated and acoustically improved while maintaining its historical and architectural integrity. In the process of researching this solution, our efforts included consultation with the FWISD Operations Department, review of the original architectural drawings, reports from two sound engineers, research on period-appropriate chairs, and consultations from neighborhood experts in historical architecture and theater design.

With the scope of the project determined, the PTA partnered with the FWISD on the venture, the PTA agreeing to finance historically accurate, hardwood chairs and a new sound system while the FWISD agreed to provide plaster repair, paint, new acoustical panels, and acoustical drapery.

To finance the PTA’s commitment, we voted to raise money through chair sponsorships. Our goal is to find a sponsor for each of the 315 new chairs, which will yield $94,500; enough to pay for the new chairs as well as the new sound system. We began the fundraiser in May of 2007, soliciting donations from parents, teachers, neighborhood residents, alumni, and student organizations.

The new chairs are installed and look beautiful, FWISD has completed all of the interior and acoustical work, and the PTA paid for the install of the new sound system. Take a moment to visit our beautiful auditorium and please, consider supporting the effort by sponsoring a chair.

The Lily B. Clayton PTA