CAC renovations limit student practice space
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 07:09
The construction on practice facilities for music students at the CAC failed to meet its scheduled completion date and will be finished late.
The West Virginia University School of Music aimed to complete an overhaul of the acoustics in its practice rooms by the end of the summer; however, following delays renovations are not set to be complete until October.
"As with any other construction, this kind of thing is expected," said Keith Jackson, Chair of the School of Music. "If the goal is to conduct a major renovation, this was the least destructive."
Sophomore music education student Ashley Elliot said the practice facility construction has made it more difficult for her to find an open space amid already scarce availability.
"There aren’t enough rooms to begin with. Now that they’re under construction, it’s hard to get a room," she said.
Throughout the construction, classrooms have been made available to accommodate students’ needs, Jackson said.
However, Elliott said classrooms have not proved to be the best option for students.
"If I don’t get a practice room, I try to get a classroom," she said. "Sometimes you get to a room, though, and there’s no piano, or the room is already filled."
Sophomore voice performance student Lexi Smith said she has made accommodations for herself to avoid the chaos of finding a practice room in the Creative Arts Center.
"I haven’t been down to see the practice rooms this year," she said. "I’ve been practicing in my house on my own piano because I heard it was crazy down there."
Jackson said he believes frustration with the process is driven from a lack of communication between the School of Music and its students.
"I think this is really just a lot of communication issues," he said. "We currently have classrooms with pianos available, and after 3 p.m., we’re at maximum capacity."
Jackson said because the renovated practice rooms will feature specialized equipment, including new acoustical materials and new pianos, the materials are harder to obtain.
"These acoustic materials are very specialized. We can’t just make runs to Home Depot to get everything we need; they have to be special ordered."
Jackson said he believes the newly renovated facilities are well worth the wait, as they provide a safer, more efficient environment for practice.
"This will be better educationally and will be a safer space to students," he said.
"This has been years in the making, and now we’re about to make it a reality. I think people need to
focus on the fact that this has taken years to implement and we’re almost there.
"Instead, the focus seems to be ‘oh my god – we’re two months behind.’"
The remaining materials arrived at the School of Music last week. The school began finishing two rooms per day on Sept. 5 and will continue to work until the rooms have been finalized. The estimated completion date is Oct. 1.
Elliott said she is excited for the new-and-improved practice facilities and thinks they will offer her an enhanced practice experience.
"They really are going to be much nicer and better acoustically insulated," she said. "I’m excited for them to be completed."