Collin Anderson
Adding sound-absorbing board to the roof of the Neldon C Mathews gym will improve sound quality, the school district says.

In 2010, Panaca was graced with a new set of school facilities, named after Neldon C. Mathews, a long-time educator and key member of the community. These facilities include an auditorium for plays and shows put on by both the community and the local schools. The other addition, attached to the auditorium, is a gymnasium that features climbing rock walls and a full- size basketball court. This gym has served all three of the schools in Panaca in various capacities throughout the years.

Unfortunately, as anyone who’s ever tried to hold a conversation in the gym knows, the acoustics make communication nearly impossible when there’s any kind of activity going on.

Now, however, sound-dampening panels have been purchased which will be hung in the gym to help lessen the echo that makes the facility nearly unusable. The panels are similar to those installed in the Pioche Elementary and Caliente Elementary gymnasiums, but while those are located on the walls, these will be located on the ceiling. The Rick Phillips Gym, just across the street, has similar sound-dampening technology installed.

However, while the schools and district office in Panaca have been able to split the cost between them (as stated above, all of the schools make use of the gym), the cost will still be $10,000. Lincoln County High School will cover $2,000, Meadow Valley Middle School will cover $1,000 and the school district is willing to cover $5,000. That leaves a $2,000 share that Panaca Elementary needs to come up with. According to a letter sent out to parents of the elementary school’s students, this is more than the school can muster while still maintaining a high level of effective education.

Cue the Panaca Elementary PTG, which has asked parents for donations towards this goal. According to the letter sent out, the PTG initially used fundraising techniques like selling chocolates and pizzas, but some parents asked them to stop doing that, which the school respected, only fundraising through PTG events and to pay for the yearly Washington D.C. trips. However, to pay for this big of an alteration, the PTG requires extra help. According to the letter, if every family donates $20, the school will nearly meet its goal.