With a newly renovated auditorium in the high school, the Cloquet School Board voted to bring back an old position that would be responsible for managing the space and protecting the nearly $2 million investment.

The vote at the board meeting Monday, Aug. 12, allows the district to hire an auditorium manager on a $6,000 annual base salary. To cover the costs of the new position, ticket prices will increase by $1 for the Cloquet High School spring play and hourly rental rates for the auditorium will increase by $25.

During the 2018-19 school year, rental fees brought in a revenue of $7,800. With the fee increase, a $11,700 revenue is anticipated for the upcoming school year.

“So essentially, we're raising the money we'd be spending on this,” Cloquet High School Principal Steve Battaglia said.

In recent months, the board approved more than $600,000 in educational programming cuts to the 2019-20 school year budget, which is why Superintendent Michael Cary told the board he wouldn’t want to see the position approved unless the district generated additional to cover the cost.

“I didn’t want to add the non-educational elements unless we have ways to offset all or most of the costs for bringing those positions on board,” Cary said.

Battaglia vouched for the position in part because the new sound and lighting boards are “pretty robust” and having someone to coordinate all the moving pieces will make the space more user friendly.

“Not only is it going to aid efficiency and usability of the space, but if nothing else, it's insurance on the $2 million facility we now have,” Battaglia said.

Position duties include managing the schedule of events in the auditorium, serving as the point of contact for users and renters of the auditorium and training others on how to use the light and sound boards, while determining who can operate the equipment without supervision.