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The+music+and+sports+building%2C+Strayer+Hall%2C+is+currently+under+construction+as+the+floods+during+preseason+left+the+gym+damaged.

Noah Kassell-Yung

The music and sports building, Strayer Hall, is currently under construction as the floods during preseason left the gym damaged.

Strayer: Repaired but still not renovated

December 16, 2021

The music and sports building, Strayer Hall, is currently under construction as the floods during preseason left the gym damaged. Although Strayer Hall was not scheduled for renovations, the repairs and refurbishing of the facilities are improvements that have been in the works for a while. That being said, the Department of Performing Arts (DoPA) is still awaiting renovations, which have been high priority for multiple years now.

Strayer Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus. Before the current Dining Hall was built, Strayer was the food hall. In the time since there have not been any full renovations. When the building was turned into a musical rehearsal space, walls were added to create more practice rooms. 

Since the building was not built for musical practices, the rooms are not the ideal size for the musicians. “Right now the rooms that are generally set aside for private lessons are too small for ensembles, but actually too large for private lessons,” Jennifer Carnevale said, the department chair of DoPA.

We fit ourselves as a program into a building that wasn’t designed for this program”

— Jennifer Carnevale

“[The Masters School] did put up soundproofing panels in room seven and they did create walls in ways that didn’t used to exist,” Carnevale said. The walls helped the program but still the absence of specialized facilities is notable. “We fit ourselves as a program into a building that wasn’t designed for this program,” she said. “I think functionally, Strayer needs some renovations, but I have never had any issues,” said Oluwademilade Oni, who has been playing the Cello at Masters for six years and has participated in ensembles and private lessons. 

There have been plans in the past to renovate Strayer. Up to two times in the last decade, the process went as far as having meetings with architects. However, both times plans fell through.

“I would say the number one need is to have a building that’s designed for programs such as ours: acoustically, in terms of dimension, all of those things,” Carnevale said.

 Along with some visual and structural issues, Strayer has its fair share of technical difficulties as well. Having programs being run through suboptimal situations can be frustrating. “There isn’t frustration that we aren’t valued, it’s the frustration when you get up to trip a fuse for the 800th time,” Carnevale said. 

Carnevale made it very clear that the issues were not a testament to the maintenance department. “We are well cared for by maintenance and facilities, we are well cared for by custodial staff but it’s at this point where everybody’s doing everything they can with this building,” Carnevale said.

No one is denying the fact that Strayer is in need of renovations. “Administration is well aware which is why we are on the priority list,” Carnevale said. “The process is what the process is because the financial climate and the world changes, the financial climate around the community changes and nobody has any particular control over that.”

There is not a set timetable yet but renovations are sure to be on the horizon. An administrator was not able to be interviewed about Strayer.

What we will often hear from current students is ‘oh man, yeah this poor building’, but what we’ll hear from graduate students is ‘oh, I spent so many good hours here’, so sometimes the trappings fall off and it’s your memory of how you felt in this space.”

— Jennifer Carnevale

DoPA, even with facilities that can create roadblocks, is a completely functioning program at Masters. “We are committed to and provide excellent programming but we often find ourselves having to do a few extra layers of work in order to make the program function inside the space.” Carnevale said.

With an old building comes memories and nostalgia. Strayer has a uniqueness that comes with its age. “There is something to be said for being able to walk down the hall and hearing music from all sides,” Carnevale said. “What we will often hear from current students is ‘oh man, yeah this poor building’, but what we’ll hear from graduate students is ‘oh, I spent so many good hours here’, so sometimes the trappings fall off and it’s your memory of how you felt in this space.”

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