Renovations, Addition Planned for Eddy Music Center
A stroll through the Eddy Music Center at Alma College typically finds percussionists practicing in hallways, instruments jammed in practice rooms, and generally cramped conditions.
With increasing numbers of students participating in ensembles, the Music Department has outgrown Eddy. As a result, Eddy is getting a facelift.
The Board of Trustees earlier this month approved planning for extensive renovations to Eddy plus the construction of a 5,000-square-foot building addition. The $1.8 million project will be funded by a combination of gifts and a portion of the proceeds from last year’s sale of tax-exempt bonds. A $1 million fund-raising goal has been set.
The Kiltie Marching Band has grown from 73 to 102 members over the last five years.
“The project reflects the growth of our music program, both vocal and instrumental,” says Alma College Provost Michael Selmon. “We need more space for teaching, practice and instrumental storage, as well as comfortable areas for people to meet and relax.
“We have approved an initial footprint; our hope is to approve the final design and start work immediately after commencement next April,” he says.
The College is working with the architectural firm TCI in the project design. The anticipated nine-month project could be completed by Christmas 2010.
“The Eddy building was opened in 1975 for a music department that was significantly smaller,” says Will Nichols, faculty music chair. “Enrollment in our major ensembles have been stable the past few years at a point about 100 percent higher than the enrollments in 1975, and the number of music faculty also has grown.”
Renovations to the existing 10,000-square-foot Eddy Music Center will include moving interior walls to transform small practice rooms into larger studios, adding offices, and removing instruments from the large rehearsal space so that ensembles can practice more comfortably.
The new addition, to be built between Eddy and the Swanson Academic Center, will contain several practice rooms, a new recording studio, faculty offices, instrumental storage space, and a highly visible front lobby with a rounded glass front facing northwest into McIntyre Mall. The proposed lobby will be large enough for hosting receptions and greeting campus visitors.
“The new plans address the need for more practice rooms, teaching and office space, storage and sound isolation,” says Nichols. “I would hesitate to say that one was more important than another. However, to the casual observer, the addition of space for instrument and equipment storage will have a huge impact on the way the instrumental rehearsal hall looks, and it will have an important impact on the ease with which we are able to change the room for one use or another.”
The new facility will not connect to the Swanson Academic Center but will leave an opening. However, it will be planned so that a second floor could be added, designed at a height to allow for a connection to the SAC at the second-story level.
As part of the project, Kimball Court, the garden area located along the walkway between Eddy and SAC, will be moved to a new and more visible area off the new facility’s front entrance along McIntyre Mall.
“I anticipate that this part of McIntyre Mall increasingly will be a center of campus life,” says Selmon. “We will have the beautiful entrance to the new Hogan at the end of the mall, with the more visible Kimball garden and the new music facility with attractive lobby entrance. I can foresee the possibility of outdoor concerts on the mall in that general area.”
The Eddy Music Center was the first campus building to be devoted exclusively to the teaching of music. Funds for the original construction were made available from the estate of Mrs. Sara Eddy of Flint, and the building is named in her honor.
Posted: Fri, November 6th, 2009 at 9:19AM