By Sydney Gwidt
PULASKI – Thanks to donations and the help of several individuals, the Pulaski Community Middle School (PCMS) band room has undergone many needed renovations and updates over the past six months – a welcome development after being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initial renovation conversations with Wenger Corporation, a manufacturer of products and services with a primary focus in music education, began in November 2019, led by former PCMS eighth-grade band director Tim Kozlovsky.
Though orders were ready to be placed in March 2020, the pandemic put a pause on the project.
When Kozlovsky retired in late 2020, middle school band teacher Jackson Smith resumed design conversations with Wenger, even adding a few updates to the design to make it more efficient.
Smith said the new designs were created with input from band teachers Michelle Henslin and Colleen Marler.
The long-awaited project is finally complete and included the entire replacement of the lockers and storage equipment, along with the installation of a floor-to-ceiling music library.
Smith said the replacements were much-needed as some of the instrument lockers date back as far as from 1976.
The project also included a redesign of the back storage room to better utilize the space.
Both spaces were also repainted, new carpet was installed and professional acoustic panels, donated by KI Incorporated in Manitowoc, were also installed.
“The renovations are absolutely wonderful and the band room has a renewed sense of brilliance,” Smith said. “What something like this does is elevate the students with an inherent sense of importance. When kids know that adults are investing in them, they respond positively,”
Smith said the new design now means that every student can keep their instruments in the band room, the marching band equipment can be kept in the closet storage room and all the music and percussion equipment can now be stored in convenient, appropriate locations.
He said he’s thankful PCMS Principal Patrick Fullerton and Associate Principal Erin Adams recognized the need for updates in the band room facility and prioritized the renovations.
Smith also gave thanks to Nicholas Phillips, the PCSD facilities director, for allocating the funds for the project, the district facilities crew for demolishing the old lockers and moving all the heavy equipment back and forth during the renovation and to John Schwartz from KI Incorporated for arranging the donation of the sound panels.
“The band teachers feel very fortunate to work in a school district with administrators and directors that value the music programs and the music facilities,” Smith said. “It is truly wonderful to work, teach and learn in a school filled with music and joy.”