Many students arrived on campus this fall to the shocking demolition of the music building located on Volunteer Blvd.
What is going to happen to the space where the old music building once stood? Is there going to be a new music building? Roger Stephens, director of the School of Music has answers to many of the questions people are asking.
"It's been a well kept secret that wasn't really designed that way," Stephens said. "We certainly let the music students know what was going on."
Stephens arrived to UT 10 years ago with the hope of a challenge to build a new music building for the growing number of students majoring in Music.
"When I came here 10 years ago, that was the number one priority," Stephens said. "After three presidents, the project went by the wayside."
In 2004 Jim and Natalie Haslam gave UT a $10 million gift that again made the new music building a number one priority on campus. However, demolition on the building did not begin until July 2010. The building was completely grounded by August 2010. The new building is scheduled to be complete by 2013.
In the meantime, the School of Music's website states that classes and offices have been temporarily relocated to Dunford Hall, Melrose Hall, the HPER building, the Humanities building and the Alumni Memorial building.
The new building will house all offices of the professors of music, as well as classrooms and auditoriums. The new building will also feature rooms built through the direction of a variety of consultants and their partnership with the architects.
"We've taken eight to 10 people...we went to several music facilities, and the architects took notes on what they liked and didn't like," Stephens said.
The hope is to create a building that will contain soundproof rooms as well as a choir room, a band room and a recording studio, to name a few. They have even brought a person in whose role is the "capturing of light". They use technology that dims the light automatically, depending on how much natural light is entering the windows.
There are going to be high-tech light fixtures as well as flooring made of specially designed cork tile and carpet that is acoustically friendly.
We've taken eight to 10 people... we went to several music facilities, and the architects took notes on what they liked and didn't like.Roger Stephens.
"The building will not look like a traditional Ayers Hall," Stephens said. "This will be kind of a contemporary look with lots of glass. People will be able to see into people's studios"
Stephens boasts his excitement about the project, but also acknowledges the challenges of the next few years. He is confident that the new building is going to rank among top music buildings in the country.
The only performance space in the new building will be the 425-seat concert hall, which is not big enough for larger performances. Cox Auditorium in the Alumni Memorial building will be used for these shows.
"That's why Phase 2 is really important," said Stephens.
The date is unknown, but there are plans for a second phase of the building to coincide with the construction of the renovation of the Clarence Brown Theatre. An official start date has not been set.
The New Building:
According to the School of Music's website, the music building will include:
- 425-seat Recital Hall
- 2500 sq. ft. Music Library
- Band Room & Office Suite
- Orchestra/Opera Rehearsal Room
- Choral Rehearsal Room
- Chamber Music Rehearsal Rooms
- 45 Practice Rooms
- Eight Technology-enhanced Academic Classrooms
- Three Computer Labs
- Recording Studio
- 40 Performance Studios/Offices
- Academic Faculty Offices
- Administrative Office Suite