By Kip Tabb | Outer Banks Voice on September 17, 2019
As fundraising themes go, a Potty Party is pretty different. But Sunday at the Roadside Bar and Grill in Duck, it was a Potty Party for the Mustang Outreach Program.
The music was amazing, as it always is. The kids are a real treat to watch and seeing them improve over the years is fantastic. Alumni of the program showed up to play. A number of working Outer Banks musicians took the stage to support the program.
A lot of people showed up for the Potty Party…which probably takes some clarification.
The Mustang Outreach Program (MOP) has been working with kids for the past eight years to help them hone their performance skills. Under the leadership of Music Director Ruth Wyand, the program has grown and now has 25-30 kids learning about music and how to perform on stage.
About a year ago, they lost their home. It was a series of circumstance and there’s no point in assigning blame because there isn’t any to speak of. In spite of that, the program has continued to move forward, although without a home it has been difficult. And then opportunity came knocking.
When the Jubilee Music Store moved to its new location in Seagate North in Kill Devil Hills, the old location in the same shopping center became available. With some money set aside for renovations, the Mustang Outreach board felt pretty good about what was happening.
Until reality set in. Jeff Ballard, Owner of Ballard Custom Designs, who is handling renovating the old location, explains it best.
“It was a change of use. The space was set up for retail. So when you convert it to business, code dictates that you bring the space up to a specific code. The main code we had to meet was ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act]. Most of the doors are wide enough to meet ADA. The problem was the existing bathroom. We had to actually enlarge the space that was the bathroom,” he said. “We had to hammer out concrete. There’s a specific distance the ‘potty’ has to be off the wall. Which made us have to relocate the sink. What was not typical,” he added, “the building was built in 1970 and it had to be brought up to code.”
The new “potty” when all is said and done, will carry a $7,000 price tag, which explains the Potty Party fundraiser. Not necessarily a potty issue, but adding to the expense, the space also had to be rewired to meet modern codes. The only thing MOP is paying for are materials. Jeff pulled the permits and he is paying his crew to do the work.
Jeff also makes it clear that the work is going to get done and the materials will be there regardless of whether MOP has the immediate funds on hand. “Moving forward financially, it’s not going to hold up the process,” he said. “We’ll make the funds available and we’ll get paid back as the funds become available.”
As things look right now, the new space should be ready to go by mid October, something MOP founder Mike Dianna is looking forward to.
“We’re going to have a really amazing space. We’re going to have four offices where teachers can teach lessons and ensemble lessons in. Then we’re going to have a large rehearsal space that’s going to be able to set up for our bands to rehearse in. And also we’re going to be able to lease that space out for adult bands, touring bands to come in and rehearse.”
“We’re doing everything right the first time,” he added.
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