MAP finds new home in old music building

September 1, 2017 — by Ashley Feng and Krithi Sankar

The old music building looks starkly different from the hive of activity that it has been over the years. It is now stripped bare of the furniture, instruments and music stands that had marked it as the home of the school’s award-winning music program.

But it won’t stay empty for long.

With the construction of the new music building next to the McAfee Center, many of the old music classrooms — including the orchestra pit, choir room, and practice rooms — are being repurposed for the Media Arts Program.

MAP is second in membership only to marching band among the school’s programs. Because of its size, larger and combined classes will likely take place in the former orchestra pit, while other classes, such as animated graphics, digital photography and SHSTV, will be taught in the former choir room.

Although no major construction will be done in the old music building, plans for some cosmetic changes to the interior of the MAP annex are underway. Teacher Joel Tarbox, who also serves as technology director for MAP, hopes that within a few weeks, all the renovations will be completed and MAP and digital arts classes will be able to fully move into the building.

“It’s been repainted and it’s in really nice shape,” Tarbox said. “But there’s none of the equipment — we need to get the desks, computers and the whiteboards.”

The renovated building will provide the space necessary for potentially bigger collaborative projects than were possible when MAP only had a room in the 800 wing and the Media Building, where computers and other equipment take up most of the space. Students in the program also see the benefits of added space of the new MAP annex.

“I totally think that the opportunity for more space is going to benefit the program,” junior Maddie Stuart said. “It’ll also give us the space to gather for massive projects rather than having to meet in a more compact computer lab.”

Repurposing the former practice rooms in order to create a sound-controlled environment for student editing bays will require more intensive renovations in the future.

New computer work station tables donated by Moving Solutions Inc., a company that provided the school with new desks, will be placed in the editing bays. The donated desks will help reduce costs for renovations, according to assistant principal Brian Thompson.

As for the old choir room, the numerous digital arts classes will use the space for lessons and collaborative work. Refurbishing the room will require minor renovations, which will be similar to the changes to the orchestra pit and the practice rooms.

Although remodeling will require financial support, the MAP program’s funding model allows it to seek support from many sources, including grants.

“We are really excited for the new space,” Tarbox said. “We have great plans for it, and we think it will benefit the students in the program a whole lot.”

 

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