Thanks to passage of a Mercer Island School District 2010 capital project levy, over 300 music students and teachers are enjoying a new and much larger practice rooms for Mercer Island High School’s ever-growing music program.
The project added 4,175 square feet and renovated the existing 6,000 square foot facility, improving acoustics, providing additional programmatic space and significantly reorganizing the department to improve both the education and experience of music.
Mercer Island High School’s music program, started in 1976, had grown so popular over the years that the school district realized it needed more space to hold the student musicians in practice rooms that were bursting at the seams.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the new music space,” said Dr. Gary Plano, Superintendent of MISD. “I speak for the entire MIHS community of teachers, students and staff when I say thank you to our community for supporting this outstanding 21st century facility addition."
Students and teachers have been working in over-crowded spaces for several years, but that didn’t seem to stop this extraordinary program from becoming rated as among the top high school music programs in the country.
The new music wing was designed by Mahlum Architects and built by Roosendaal and Honcoop of Bellingham, WA. Both teams received terrific support from the MISD maintenance crews working “behind the scenes” to coordinate the timely completion of this beautiful new addition.
The new addition provides dedicated teaching space for jazz and percussion rehearsals, five new practice rooms, a recording studio and additional storage. The renovation has improved the acoustics of rehearsal and practice rooms, isolates sound transfer between spaces, provides greatly needed additional storage, improves flow within the department, reduces congestion, and physically connects the three major rehearsal spaces.
The capital levy funded the planning for the addition, including the educational specifications and guiding principles, developed in visioning sessions with District and high school staff, students and parent volunteers.