U?s space constraints cause concerns about practice room

By By Katie Valentine

By Katie Valentine

Students in the School of Music lack the space needed to practice on campus.

At a meeting of the Board of Trustees on Oct. 9, the School of Music brought up a concern that there aren’t enough adequate practice rooms to accommodate its students. There are 25 practice rooms in Libby Gardner Hall and the West Institute building combined. It’s enough to accommodate 300 students, but the school has 450.

Libby Gardner Hall was remodeled in 1998, but there wasn’t space to add the needed 25 extra rooms.

It’s an issue the board and school hope to address by converting the West Institute’s remaining space. The institute, located across the street from the U, is used by the theater department, which plans to vacate the building to make room for the music school’s practice rooms, according to the report.

“In contrast to the high-quality facilities in the School in general, the practice rooms are too few and of poor condition,” said a graduate council review of the department submitted to the Trustees.

Dave Jorgensen, a sophomore in piano performance, said he usually waits an average of 15 minutes for a free practice room. He said the wait doesn’t bother him because he spends the time studying.

But Jorgensen said he considers himself lucky8212;during peak practice hours, he drives home and practices there.

The rooms are usually all taken during the middle of the day, said Robert Walzel, director of the School of Music. Faculty discussed having a sign-up system but decided against it in favor of a first-come-first-served basis.

Collette Drury, a senior in violin performance, said she also chooses to practice at home as well to avoid any conflicts with practice rooms.

A plan to more effectively schedule the rooms is also in place. The School of Music plans to use different scheduling techniques to alleviate some of the peak practice hour problems.

According to the information provided to the Trustees, the equipment in the practice rooms is considered at least adequate and is well-maintained.

Jorgensen said he might not be playing on the nicest pianos, but they are looked after. He said he notices the pianos are well taken care of8212;for example when a string snaps, it quickly gets replaced.

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