Williams Center for the Performing Arts renovations to modernize building’s space

The Williams Center for the Arts might be quieter than usual this semester, but its usual musician inhabitants are still coming together to make music, virtually. (Photo by Brandon Marin ’22)

Since its opening in 1983, the Williams Center for the Performing Arts has hosted countless performances, installations and classes. For the first time in over 30 years, the building is getting ready to debut its recent renovations, new technology and more efficient spaces.

The building has received little to no modernization until this year. Both the music and art departments are updating their respective spaces to better suit the needs of both the departments and students. 

The art department is adding a seminar room with an adjoined digital resources library. The digital resources librarian and assistant gallery curators will set up their offices in this space. These rooms are connected to the preexisting art department study space. 

The addition of a seminar space has been a long-requested addition to the arts’ facilities. 

The music department is similarly updating their existing space to better accommodate their needs.

“We didn’t really gain any spaces, but the spaces that are being replaced are being enhanced greatly,” Department Head Larry Stockton, who spearheaded these renovations said.

According to Stockton, the new space consists of a computer lab, a digital musical lab for digital music courses, a piano lab for piano class and a larger practice room for group practice. While the rooms are in the same vicinity of each other, they exist in independent spaces, which is a new and important feature of the update.

The most important feature of this space is perhaps the professional sound-proofing. A professional sound engineer consulted on this project to ensure its success according to Stockton.

“We are trying to make sure that the sound-proofing is there, which it never was…Walls were enhanced for acoustic purposes,” Stockton said.

The digital music lab, which boasts a semi-professional recording setup, was the most in-demand space, according to Stockton.

“It’s designed primarily for classes, but also our music theory labs are held in there, but people who have been through our music technology two course sequence have access to the rooms at their own time to do their own recording. We just want to make sure that it is people that know how to use the equipment,” Stockton said.

While the projects are not complete yet, students and faculty will be able to share the new spaces in the coming weeks.

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