Catoosa County School officials on Tuesday September 14 opened a performing arts center at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School.
The LFO Performing Arts Theater, which is funded by ESPLOST (Special Use Local Sales Tax for Education) funds, is expected to open in August 2023.
A large crowd of elected officials, community members, students and teachers attended the dedication ceremony.
âI am proud every time we start an ESPLOST facility improvement project in our schools,â said Superintendent Denia Reese, âbut the projects at LFO High School are very special to me because this is my alma mater.â
Reese discussed the revitalization and facility improvement projects for LFO High School that began in 2012 with ESPLOST IV. Some major Phase I projects included building a performance gymnasium, renovating classrooms and science labs, expanding cafeteria seating, and redesigning the main entrance to improve safety. The revitalization continued with ESPLOST V and included new bleachers, a press box and a track for the football stadium, as well as the renovation and improvement of the baseball and softball complexes.
The LFO Performing Arts Theater is a major project that the community requested for the ESPLOST VI referendum.
âThis theater will provide a venue to showcase the talents of students from the LFO group, theater, choir and visual arts,â said Reese. âIn addition, this theater will be available for performances in elementary schools in the LFO attendance area, Lakeview Middle School and the community of Fort Oglethorpe.
âI know the students and parents will have wonderful memories of special performances for years to come, and it will be a great addition to the LFO community,â she said. “It’s a big day for everyone in this community, but I don’t think anyone is more excited than me to start building this theater.”
LFO principal Chance Nix also spoke at the ceremony. He thanked the Catoosa County Board of Education and acknowledged Reese, saying: âThis breakthrough would not have come about without the hard work and dedication of LFO’s most distinguished educator, the former student of LFO, Denia Reese. Thank you for your persistence and for making this dream come true.