After 20 years, class gift to Londonderry High School is showing its ageBy APRIL GUILMET
Union Leader Correspondent January 07. 2014 8:39PM
LONDONDERRY — A former Londonderry resident who helped build the ticket booth that sits outside the local Lions Hall is calling on the community to help return the structure to its former glory.
Late last month, Londonderry High School graduate Robert Antonellis was in town visiting family when he happened to notice the booth was sitting in front of the Mammoth Road meeting house.
Antonellis, who now lives in Virginia, said he helped build the structure with classmate Christopher Feibel during senior year at the high school. The completed building, which served as a ticket booth during school sporting events for quite a few years, was a gift from the Class of 1994.
The two classmates took many advanced woodworking courses together over the years and, having grown tired of making the usual cabinets, coffee tables and clocks, decided to build bigger — something the community could enjoy for years to come.
The ticket booth’s planks were fastened together with oak pegs rather than nails.
“No one seems to know exactly how the booth arrived at Lions Hall,” Antonellis said during a phone interview this week. “It’s great that it’s still being used, but that’s not what we built it for.”
While it’s unclear exactly when or how the booth ended up across the street, school officials are guessing the structure was brought there shortly after a permanent ticket booth, one made of concrete, was installed on the high school sporting field.
These days, the booth is used mostly during the holiday season, when the Lions hold their annual tree sale.
“Now the booth needs some repairs, but neither the school nor the Lions have the money to put into it,” Antonellis said. “Without our help it’s only going to get worse over time.”
He said his hope is that the booth might ultimately be donated back to the school and community members, or perhaps a young Eagle Scout hopeful, could then come forward to lend a hand with labor and supplies.
Katie Sullivan, assistant principal at Londonderry High School, said the two men built the booth with the help of woodworking teacher Tom Ciccarello. Sullivan, who oversees the school’s Pay It Forward Club, which volunteers at the Lions tree sale each season, said she’s happy to see the booth is still being used but admitted repairs are long overdue.
“It would be great to see it restored, maybe with a plaque placed on it explaining its history,” Sullivan said.
Ciccarello said that last he checked, the Lions had added some vinyl siding and a storm door to the building, which looks very different now than it did in its heyday.
He added that a local Scout expressed interest in taking on the project late last year, but those plans have yet to materialize.
“It definitely needs some repairs,” Ciccarello said. “But those boys truly built it to last.”
Community members wishing to learn more or possibly lend a hand with restoration efforts are encouraged to visit the “Save The Londonderry Ticket Booth” page on Facebook.