Thursday, February 13, 2014
By Kevin M. Smith
When the Fulton High School band marches down Court Street for homecoming in the fall, it will be donning new “sparkly” uniforms with flare.
At its meeting Wednesday night, the Fulton Public Schools Board of Education approved spending $56,778 on new uniforms for the marching band, replacing the current 12-year-old uniforms.
The current uniforms, which will be worn again at state competition in April, are literally coming apart at the seams. The new uniforms will be three pounds lighter and breathe easier, according to Fulton High School band director Kelly Neudecker.
In contrast to the current uniforms, which are mostly black with gold horizontal braided decorative cords across the front and a few other gold accessories, the new ones are three-toned with white on the right shoulder and arm, a gold sash diagonal across the middle and black on the left torso and arm.
Unlike the current uniforms, the new uniforms, which should be delivered to the school by Aug. 1, will also come with gloves.
“We haven’t done gloves since I’ve been here … just something to add flare,” Neudecker, a 1995 FHS alumna, told the school board.
Some board members expressed an interest in a darker, bolder yellow or gold to be more consistent with other school uniforms. The gold on the new uniforms is lighter with a “sparkly” aura on the sash and hat. Neudecker quipped she enjoys “sparkly” things.
“We need something that gives a little bit of flash,” she said.
The board unanimously approved the purchase, which comes to $473.15 per outfit for 120 uniforms that includes the uniform’s jacket, pants, hat, plume and uniform bag.
Fulton Public Schools Superintendent Jacque Cowherd noted that while it seems like a “tremendous” amount to spend, it’s comparable to buying a new suit at a department store. The new uniforms are expected to last at least eight years. Cowherd speculated the district would probably stretch that use to 10 years or longer.
“It makes it a reasonable expenditure over time,” Cowherd said.
One board member calculated that’s roughly $50 per year per uniform, which does not seem too costly.
There was no fundraiser for the new uniforms, according to Neudecker, it came from the district’s budget. The old uniforms were declared surplus property and will be converted to Fulton Hornet throw pillows, which will be sold to interested fans.
The new uniforms are machine washable, but Neudecker said they would be dry cleaned unless there were an emergency in an effort to preserve the uniforms longer.
“I think it’s wonderful we’ve been able to make it this long with the uniforms,” Board President Kevin Habjan said.
Cowherd said it took a lot of parents over the years literally keeping the uniforms together to get the dozen-year longevity.
Stanbury Uniforms was the company that was awarded the contract for the uniforms.
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