News & Updates

Donors Recognized for Gymnasium Renovation
Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 3:21 PM

Donors who helped to fund the renovation of the gymnasium at the Barber National Institute were recently recognized with the unveiling of the updated facility.

The first donation to fund the project was a $50,000 grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Erie. Other donors included the Maureen Riazzi Fund of the Dayton Foundation, Wal-Mart, Randy Peterman from the Erie Insurance Giving Network, and the Panosian-Cornish families in memory of Lori Schloss.

Renovations included the installation of a new floor, lighting, and sound system, as well as equipment to integrate iPads and other computer technology for presentations. A new, more accessible stage and ramps were also added to ensure that multiple students in wheel chairs or other assistive devices and their attendants can access the stage with their classes.

The project marks the first major renovation for the gym, constructed in 1975, which now provides a state-of-the facility for students and adults.

“For all the many ways that we use our gymnasium, keeping pace with innovations can prove challenging. We have been struggling to integrate new technologies into older systems and really be able to meet all of the needs for performances and activities that take place throughout the year,” said Dr. Maureen Barber-Carey, executive vice president.

Activities include the annual student Christmas play, graduation, a collaboration with the Erie Playhouse Youtheater, and regular visits from area orchestras, dance companies and other organizations. The gym holds at least six annual school and community dances for children and adults with special needs.


Photo cutline:

Students Penny Lyte and Wyatt Dlugolenski from the Happy Hearts Preschool at the Barber National Institute join Dr. Maureen Barber-Carey, standing at left, executive vice president of the Barber National Institute, and John Barber, standing at right, president and chief executive officer, to thank donors who supported the recent renovation of the gymnasium. Donors include Randy Peterman, second from left, representing the Erie Insurance Giving Network; and Peter Russo, representing the Maureen Riazzi Fund of the Dayton Foundation. The gym renovation project was also supported by a $50,000 grant from Ronald McDonald Charities of Erie; Wal-Mart; and the Panosian-Cornish families in memory of Lori Schloss.

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