VSU’s historic building becomes new home for the Music Dept.

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Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 6:04 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - A historic building at Valdosta State University (VSU) has been transformed into the new home for the Department of Music.

The sound of the choir and instruments can be heard at Powell Hall, the new home for the VSU Department of Music.

Inside you can find administrative offices, practice rooms and a 200 seat recital hall.

It was a project that started several years ago, part of the university’s master plan for improvements for the college of the arts.

What you see today looked very different before. It was even a library in the 1940s.

Powell Hall at VSU in the 1940s.
Powell Hall at VSU in the 1940s.(WALB)

Blake Pearce, the dean of VSU’s College of the Arts, said it was dedicated to Eleanor Roosevelt.

Pearce said it was a team effort to transform the historic building and involved lots of planning with the design team, students and faculty.

“It’s an inspiring space to be in. It’s a tribute to the university and community. I think it’s going to be a wonderful recruiting tool. It’s a point of pride for this department, faculty and students. I think it’s a whole new day for the department of music,” said Pearce.

The team worked to preserve its history while trying to add contemporary features.

For some time, Pearce said they needed extra space for the department to grow. They were sharing space in the fine arts building, which was a challenge between sound and sharing performance space. That was one of their top priorities for the new space, providing sound isolation.

“So they’re highly specialized door frames, windows, the way air conditioning system is designed. Everything is designed thinking about sound treatment and sound abatement so we can work in places and not interrupt one another,” explained Pearce.

Construction was finalized at the beginning of this year, but with students returning to campus for the fall term, it was the first time they were able to put it to use.

“It has been really exciting. The students have been blown away because they were shocked and surprised. They haven’t been in the space much. The faculty had seen it some moving in,” said Pearce.

There will be an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday.

Newly renovated Powell Hall at VSU.
Newly renovated Powell Hall at VSU.(WALB)

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