Schenectady County

SCCC’s new music building worth tooting your horn over (with video)

For some professors and students in Schenectady County Community College, the new $3.9 million music

For some professors and students in Schenectady County Community College, the new $3.9 million music wing that had its grand opening on Wednesday is like a gift from God.

“Our prayers were answered,” said trombonist and second-year student Robert Krupanich, of Clifton Park.

Before the 12,600-square-foot addition to the Begley Building was partially opened this semester, Krupanich said students and professors had to compete for space to practice and teach. The previous accommodations were usable, but didn’t provide room for the department to reach its full potential.

Standing before school officials and local politicians, Krupanich, 19, proudly highlighted the abundance of practice rooms, lockers for instruments, performance locations, recording studio and lounge that will all be part of the new wing once it is finished. “And last but not least, an elevator for the students to safely transport their tubas,” he said.

The first floor is home to the teaching studios, a live recording studio, two specialized music classrooms and faculty offices. The second floor has the recording studio with control room, recital space and additional faculty offices. The Begley building was upgraded also.

Krupanich concluded, “As a student, I relish the opportunity to be here.”

It wasn’t an easy road for students and professors, though, with construction altering their lives last school year. Krupanich noted that he had to dodge wires, avoid inhaling unpleasant fumes and was often serenaded by the sounds of jackhammers. Construction began in the spring of 2011 and was completed recently, with work on the recording studio ongoing.

“Everyone here knew what it would take to get a new building,” he said. “Now we stand here today marveling at the fantastic new facility.”

The idea had been kicking around for about a decade, according to Denise Murphy McGraw, chairwoman of the SCCC Board of Trustees. For one reason or another, she said, the plans were never realized until matching funds from the county and the state came together.

“It’s really a dream come true,” she said.

About four years ago, when assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the college as it was in pursuit of a new president, she said it was clear that SCCC had the faculty and tools to grow. What it was lacking was space that could house all the great ingredients that might attract a high caliber president or student.

“This sells the product, doesn’t it?” Murphy McGraw said.

Put in language more geared to students at the grand opening, the School of Music Dean William Meckley said, “Is this cool or what?”

Reiterating a message from Meckley, Krupanich added after the event that the new building showed how much the college cares about its music department.

He said that level of commitment would likely attract new students, who would now have access to facilities on par with anything being offered in the Capital Region.

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