October 1, 2012
Mercer Island High School’s music program is popular, so popular that a program that started in 1976 with 30 students now enrolls over 300. The students and teachers have been working in over-crowded spaces for several years, but that didn’t seem to stop this extraordinary program from becoming rated as among the top high school music programs in the country.
Now, thanks to the Mercer Island community’s passage of the Mercer Island School District’s capital projects levies over the past many years, music students and teachers are enjoying a wonderful new space designed by Mahlum Architects and built by Roosendaal and Honcoop of Bellingham, WA. Both teams received terrific support from the MISD maintenance crews working “behind the scenes” to coordinate the timely completion of this beautiful new addition.
The project added 4,175 square feet and renovated the existing 6,000 square foot facility, improving acoustics, providing additional programmatic space and significantly reorganizing the department to improve both the education and experience of music.
The new addition provides dedicated teaching space for jazz and percussion rehearsals, five new practice rooms, a recording studio and additional storage. The renovation has improved the acoustics of rehearsal and practice rooms, isolates sound transfer between spaces, provides greatly needed additional storage, improves flow within the department, reduces congestion, and physically connects the three major rehearsal spaces.
The capital levy funded the planning for the addition, including the educational specifications and guiding principles, developed in visioning sessions with District and high school staff, students and parent volunteers. “We are absolutely thrilled with the new music space,” said Dr. Gary Plano, Superintendent of MISD. “I speak for the entire MIHS community of teachers, students and staff when I say thank you to our community for supporting this outstanding 21st century facility addition.”