A 70-year stretch of cramped quarters will come to an end due to a $4.5 million donation.
Purdue Musical Organizations will receive a new building scheduled to begin construction in the spring of 2013. The new facility will allow a more comfortable and up-to-date environment. The move was made possible by a donation from long-time PMO supporters Ralph and Bettye Bailey. It will also end the organization’s requirement of occupying cramped space in the Elliott Hall of Music.
Steve Schlenk, PMO director of operations, wrote in an email that everyone in the organization was very excited upon learning of the new facility.
“This building has been a dream of Purdue Musical Organizations for many years,” he wrote.
Schlenk wrote that after 70 years of limited accessibility, acoustic isolation and no sunlight, the program had become much larger than the space available in Elliott.
“This new facility will enhance the overall experience of PMO students by providing critically needed space in a modern, music education setting,” Schlenk wrote. “In addition, a new facility will attract student and community traffic, raise awareness of PMO programs and boost recruitment.”
The new PMO center was approved by the Board of Trustees on Dec. 18, 2010, but ground has yet to be broken on the site which is located on the Southwest corner of Northwestern avenue and Grant street.
Schlenk wrote the delay has been because all construction bids received exceeded the available budget for the project when it went to bid in January.
“The decision was made to redesign the building in order to complete the project within budget and to create a building that will still meet all of the needs of Purdue Musical Organizations,” he wrote.
Jon Ranard, assistant director of the Purduettes and University Choir, said the idea of the organization getting a new space is an exciting prospect.
“You think of all the wonderful things that are going to help make your programs even (better and) give you the opportunity to do some different things and make things even better than they might already be,” he said. “I think there’s always excitement for that.”
Ranard said being located in Elliott Hall for so many years had its challenges, but said the proposed site and ability to have a state-of-the-art facility provides a good feeling.
“It will just be a better space for up to 300 PMO students to be together at the same time,” he said. “We’re hoping the end product of a new building is something that’s really functional now as well as far in the future and it allows for growth, but also allows you to have everything you need at this moment.”