‘Yes’ on 3B; Bayfield needs an auditorium

Bayfield is a vibrant and amazing community, with schools that are the envy of the region. In almost every way, this school district rises above others in the state. However, there is one glaring omission in our district: Bayfield schools have no appropriate venue for performing arts.

In other words, we have no auditorium.

For years, Bayfield musicians, actors, dancers and speakers have been forced to perform in facilities not designed for that purpose. Would you expect to enjoy a football game played on a basketball gym or in a library? Should volleyball be played on a parking lot? No. How foolish to expect our young athletes to play anywhere other than the best facility available. They deserve the best, which we have. Wolverine Country is a beautiful stadium. Bayfield High School’s main gym is a state of the art facility. Visiting teams and coaches love them.

However, musicians and actors in Bayfield Schools are relegated to playing in an acoustically unsound gymnasium, or worse, the “cafetorium,” a ridiculous hybrid of a word that never should have been invented. Last year, of the 390 students at BHS, 145 were in music and an additional 50 were involved in theater. These are high school statistics; more than 60 percent of 1,500 Bayfield students K-12 participate in music and theater, and they do so in facilities where their performances are merely an afterthought.

Every school district in the area has an auditorium now. Durango High School’s plays are the pride of Durango, Pagosa Springs High School in Pagosa. Cortez hosts band and choir contests on their stage, and Mancos held community meetings during the Weber Fire in the school auditorium. Our friends in Farmington recently built beautiful performing arts facilities. Is it right that your Bayfield children are the only students in the area with no auditorium?

When the Bayfield Music Department performed in April 2011 at the Community Concert Hall at FLC, all I heard from the audience was how “We need one of these in Bayfield.” Well, here is our chance.

Vote “yes” on Bayfield School Ballot Question 3B to bring an auditorium to Wolverine Country.

Derek C. Smith