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Jun 09, 2022

Rumson Schools Opens Doors to its New Auditorium

After more than two years of construction under the November 2019 bond referendum, the Borough of Rumson School District opened the doors of its new multi-purpose room and auditorium on May 5. The space holds 500 seats, a full-service stage, green room and concession/ticket area. Designed with 250 retractable seats, the room can be divided into sections to accommodate various events, such as assemblies, book fairs, art shows, recess and performances.

From left: Dr. John Bormann, Dr. Charles Jones III and Jamie O’Brien

The event began with a ribbon-cutting conducted by Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Bormann, Board of Education President Dr. Charles Jones III and Supervisor of Building and Grounds Jamie O’Brien. Attendees were next treated to a concert presented by the Forrestdale Senior Choir and the Forrestdale Intermediate and Advanced Bands under the leadership of John Lebitsch. The ceremony and concert were opened by eighth grader Joseph Whitehouse, with a welcome and the Pledge of Allegiance, and eighth grader Dakota Diehl, who performed the National Anthem. Bormann then welcomed guests, including Mayor Joseph Hemphill and members of the Borough of Rumson Council and administration. He said, “I hope this space will be utilized for generations to come, both within the schools and through the community, as a place to honor individuals through ceremony, celebrate individual performance talents and gather people as a community.” 

Jones followed, proudly enumerating other district projects achieved under the referendum, including renovations to classrooms, media center redesign, science lab upgrades, and improvements in security and HVAC systems.  

Guests recognized for the support in the project were Steve Siegel, principal from Spiezle Architectural Group; Tania Rabitsky, Greyhawk Construction consultant; and Markos Parlamas, contractor and vice president of G&P Parlamas.

John Lebitsch leads the band

The night ended with fabulous performances by the Forrestdale Senior Choir, under the leadership of Barbara Leutz, and the Jazz Ensemble, again led by Lebitsch, followed by a beautiful reception presented by the Rumson PTO.

As a follow-up to this happy evening, the next day, the Forrestdale Senior Choir achieved third place with a rating of GOOD and Forrestdale Concert Band achieved first place with a rating of excellent at the Music in the Parks competition. To top it off, the Forrestdale music program once again received the highest honor at Music in the Parks: the coveted Esprit de Corps Award, which recognizes the organization that displays an exemplary attitude of positive support and outstanding personal behavior throughout the festival weekend. Forrestdale School members have now been recognized with this award each of the past four times they’ve attended the festival and an unprecedented seven times overall.