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Jacobs School's East Studio Building nearing completion

June 13, 2013

Many Jacobs School of Music faculty and administrators won’t have to wait much longer to move into their new space on campus.

The East Studio Building, a project initially funded by a $44 million grant from the Lilly Foundation, Inc., is expected to be completed by July 23.

East Studio Building

The East Studio Building was designed with acoustics in mind. | Photo by Latonya Yarbo

Senior university architect Bob Richardson said the primary function of the building will be to provide faculty studios and percussion practice rooms. Some administration members at the IU Jacob's School of Music will also be relocated in the building's Third St. and Jordan Ave. location.

Eugene O’Brien, executive associate dean of the Jacobs School, said the new building will be an enormous benefit to the music school, which is considered one of the top music schools in the country.

“We have been in desperate need for an increase in the number of performance and composition faculty studios for many years,” O’Brien said. “Many current faculty are housed in converted, windowless practice rooms that are entirely inadequate for their teaching requirements.”

Some of the rooms O’Brien is referring to are in the Music Addition, another Jacobs building located on Third Street. Richardson said the initial plan was to demolish that building and replace it with the East Faculty Studio. Due to high costs to build on that site, the project has been reconceived to its current location, where the University West apartments once stood.

Richardson said while it can be nice to walk through the Music Addition and hear musicians practicing various instruments, the acoustics aren’t good for the musicians, because the sound travels throughout the halls and into other music rooms.

The East Studio Building will eradicate some of those problems with state-of-the-art acoustical design.

With the help of a consultant, the design team created sound-proof practice rooms and studios, a process involving 17 different wall treatments, extensive wrapping and insulations on the duct system, and a combination of concrete block and a special drywall.

The interior studio walls are also slightly sloped inward so that sound won't produce undesirable echoes.

Besides rectifying acoustical issues in the Music Addition, the East Studio Building helps with other existing problems.

O’Brien said the Jacobs School wanted to centralize student services and administrative offices with the new building, as well as address the shortage of practice rooms and studios for the school’s 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students. A quick tour around the four-story structure reveals percussion spaces on the ground floor, as well as administrative offices on the first and fourth floors.

This music and practice building is a two-fold project: an addition that will include rehearsal rooms will be built on the back of the Musical Arts Center. However, construction on that part of the project has not begun yet.

“Everyone is very pleased with the progress of the building, and we’re looking forward to the completion date,” O’Brien said.

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