Less than a year after the completion of the Shafer Tower and the Art and Journalism Building, more campus construction officially begins today.
The ground breaking ceremony for the Music Instruction Building will be at 2:30 p.m. at the southeast corner of McKinley and Riverside Avenues, where the structure will be located.
Interim Director of the School of Music Peter McAllister said in addition to himself speaking at the ceremony, Dean of the College Fine Arts Robert Kvam and Vice President for Business Affairs Thomas Kinghorn will also be speaking. The DaCamera Brass, which is composed of five faculty members, will play a short fanfare, McAllister said.
The new structure will serve as an expansion to the current music building, said Kevin Kenyon, the associate vice president of facilities planning and management. The Music Engineering Technology program, which is currently located in a small house on Bethel Avenue near the stadium, will move to the second floor of the new building.
Because of the expensive equipment and "digital toys" used by the MET program, the second floor will be highly secured, Kenyon said.
"The general public won't be able to cruise through there," he said.
He said windows looking into rooms holding the equipment would give people a chance to see what the program has to offer.
The new building will also have 24 faculty studios, band and choral rehearsal and performance spaces, and a performance hall big enough for a 90-piece band. McAllister said the performance hall would be unique because it will not only be used for rehearsing and performing but also for recording music.
"That's quite unusual because a hall is usually used just for performing," McAllister said.
Kenyon said concerts that used to be held in Pruis Hall will perform in the new building once it is completed. He said Pruis will still be used for classes and large performances will still be held in Emens Auditorium.
When completed, the Music Instruction Building will be 86,000 square feet, Kenyon said. He said 73,000 square feet would be used for academics. Because of the size of the structure, the north part of Calvert Street will permanently be closed.
Kenyon said he expects the building to be completed by fall semester 2004. Construction was initially delayed because contractor bids originally came in over budget.
"We had to go back and redesign the building," Kenyon said. "We took off some of the amenities that weren't necessary to the function, so it's not quite the building we had envisioned."
The building's location was based on several factors, including proximity to the current music building and connecting the older and newer parts of campus, Kenyon said.
"It's an appropriate place to put a signature, anchor building," he said. "What this does is it helps to establish the new East Quad."
McAllister said a future parking garage, which will be located across from the Burkhart Building on McKinley Avenue, will make the building easily accessible.
McAllister also said he is looking forward to the new building because of the impact it will have on the music program at Ball State.
"It's one of the reasons why faculty and students are here at Ball State," McAllister said. "It makes it that much better for our students to become better musicians."