Angels get wings, and redone theater

first_img“But along the way, we decided maybe we needed to raise consciousness on the deterioration of the only facility that could hold 900 people in the Santa Clarita Valley.” The goal was to get air-conditioning, which at the time would have cost $100,000. The destructive 1994 Northridge Earthquake, which severely damaged the auditorium, actually speeded up the process of the auditorium’s remodeling. Newly retired Lew White, who still consults for the William S. Hart Union High School District, was involved in facilities planning and construction at the time. He remembers clearly how influential the Angels were in getting the auditorium rebuilt after the quake, and in better shape than it was before. Repairs didn’t start until 1998. Hart district took care of the major structural damage, but the Hart Angels were finally able to install their air conditioning. The group is now celebrating the final phases of its fundraising efforts by placing a golden plaque with an angel, as a reminder of the people who helped make the state-of-the-art facility possible. The last projects left on the Angels’ to-do list included a spotlight and wireless headsets for easy communication. White, who still works part time for the auditorium, is simply glad to know the Hart Angels, who strived for one goal for nearly one-third of a century, will be recognized. “This is the celebration of the culmination of the Hart Auditorium Angels,” White said. But for Newhall, the dream does not end with the Hart Angels. “If you think about what an angel does, they make sure everyone is OK and doing the right thing,” Newhall said. But she refuses to take credit for the success of the group, putting the focus on the community that made it possible. “The idea that it got done with all the little people that made it happen: That’s what we are celebrating,” she said. [email protected] (661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEWHALL – Built in 1950, Hart High School’s auditorium is one of the oldest theaters in the Santa Clarita Valley – and for most of its existence, one group has been determined to make it the best. Perhaps reaching a record for the longest fundraising drive ever, after nearly 29 years of service, the Hart Auditorium Angels have accomplished their goal of $150,000. Reena Newhall, the group’s founding member and current president, remembers clearly the day she decided she had to do something for the tattered theater. The owner of a dance studio, Newhall had her spring recitals at the Hart auditorium, officially named the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Auditorium. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John Phillips“It was the only real auditorium the community had at the time,” said Newhall, who is married to a great-great-grandson of local pioneer Henry Mayo Newhall. And community members and parents worried that it was deteriorating. “Plaster was falling off the walls, the stage had splinters, the place was in big-time disrepair,” Newhall said. Proposition 13, the property-tax-cutting measure of 1978, had just passed, so funding for the district was scarce. A group of 12 formed a parent advisory committee and suggested fundraising as an answer to the problem. “At first, we were raising people with talent: painters, plasterers and electricians,” Newhall said. last_img

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