Scarsdale Considering Middle School Music Room Proposal

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The proposed music / multi-purpose room at the middle school is represented by the yellow addition.
The proposed music / multi-purpose room at the middle school is represented by the yellow addition. Photo Credit: Contributed

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – After analyzing district needs and determining which capital projects should be made a priority, the Scarsdale Board of Education has proposed installing a potential music and multi-purpose space in the Middle School for students.

In total, the district has identified approximately $20 million in projects that would improve several areas of need in the district. Other proposals include a technology overhaul, roof replacement at Quaker Ridge and several improvements at the high school.

At the middle school, as the music program continues to grow, the need for a larger space for rehearsal and instruction has grown. With more than 850 students now participating in ensemble music groups, the current situation, where the auditorium and stage were used for both teaching and storage of instruments, is no longer feasible.

According to the Middle School Planning team behind the $2.5 million proposal, as many as 90 Orchestra students meet in the space at any one time for class, which isn’t practical in a space that is storing large, delicate instruments.

“The scope of the proposed project is to create an additional music and multi-purpose space and storage area that would allow the auditorium to not be used as a daily teaching space,” the proposal said. “This would allow the music program the ability to use and protect its valuable equipment and allow the entire school population to use the auditorium as needed.”

In addition to the benefits provided for music students, the room would also serve as the Middle School’s only multi-purpose meeting space outside of the Great Hall, which isn’t legal for congregating.

“The classroom will provide a large space to facilitate collaborative and interdisciplinary instruction,” the planning team noted. “The new classroom will provide opportunities for future collaboration with other departments.”

If the project doesn’t get greenlit, the planning team said that the problem will likely only get worse and affect more students as the music program’s numbers continue to swell.

“The Middle School administration works hard to accommodate those who wish to use the auditorium for special programs, while trying not to disrupt music classes. This has proven to be an overwhelming task that is becoming more difficult each year to tackle,” they said. “Part of the reason this issue is becoming more difficult to solve, is that the music program has grown tremendously, while the need for special programs to take place in a multi-use room has also grown.”

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