SYOSSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A building at the Long Island high school that Billy Joel helped save from closing has been renamed after the performer’s late mother.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer attended a ceremony Tuesday at the newly dedicated Rosalind Joel Conservatory for Music and Theatre, which houses the performing arts programs at the Long Island High School for the Arts’ campus in Syosset.

Students performed for and chatted with Joel, whose mother died in 2014, Newsday reported.

Joel said his mother encouraged his interest in music by paying for his piano lessons and taking him to shows when he was growing up. He paid tribute to her back in the 70s on his song “Rosalinda’s Eyes.”

The Long Island native pledged $1.5 million last year to help save the school, which had been facing closure because of decreasing enrollment and tuition revenue.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More From CBS New York

Download Weather App
Talkers
60 Minutes Hear It On Demand

Watch & Listen LIVE