The Eastman Community Music School will embark on a major renovation in January. The $2.8 million project is expected to enhance the educational experience for more than 1,500 music students.

Photo credit: Eastman Community Music School

The school has been a part of the Eastman School of Music, the University of Rochester, and the Rochester community since its opening in 1921. It is housed on Gibbs Street in Messinger Hall.

Eastman School of Music National Council Member Karen Rettner and her husband, University of Rochester Trustee Ronald Rettner, are the primary contributors to the building renovation. Other contributors include the Kenlou Foundation, the Williams Family, Nancie Kennedy and the Spindler Family Foundation. The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council offered a grant.

Renovations in Messinger Hall will feature: interior upgrades and furnishings in the lobby, as well as video signage and a permanent lobby attendant desk; a keyboard lab; classrooms; 24 teaching studios; percussion and drum set studios; designated waiting spaces for parents; and an exterior facelift. All construction will be completed according to thorough acoustical requirements, making the new spaces optimal for music education and learning.

“This project has deep symbolic meaning,” states Petar Kodzas, Associate Dean of the Eastman Community Music School. “It reaffirms Eastman’s commitment to enrich community life on many levels including through Eastman Community Music School. This new state-of-the-art facility will bring teaching and learning music to a whole new level and reflects our dedication to excellence.”

The renovations are expected to be complete by August 2018.