NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - New music classrooms have been constructed at West Essex Regional High School.
The West Essex Regional Board of Education approved the conversion of a maintenance garage into a new and larger band room to combat the lack of space in the old room.
According to a press release from the district, the new area includes space for offices, soundproof practice rooms and instrument storage space. The room will also be used for Advanced Placement Music Theory. The former choral room was converted into instrument storage space and is now the home of the choir and orchestra programs.
West Essex High School Band Director John Scozzaro said he is very pleased with the new band room.
"In the old room, we were busting at the seams for space for students and equipment," he said. “The new room has four sound isolation practice rooms for students to practice alone or in small groups.
Scozzaro also described the new rooms as much more “acoustically sound” and posited that increased storage space will help with band organization.
“It will allow the students to focus more on music making and in the end it will raise the overall level of the band and music department.”
Lisa Swanick, West Essex Supervisor of Fine, Performing and Practical Arts, cited storage needs and acoustical improvement as the biggest factors in the new rooms.
“The new facility allows us to further expand instruction with the ability to integrate music recording technology and use other district technology resources in the music classes."
The renovations were funded by the district and cost $669,088.
Students are also excited about the new facilities. "I love it!" said junior Abby Zimmermann as she removed her instrument from storage before a recent rehearsal. "It is like my second home."
Junior Nick Candarella said the new band room improves the quality of the band's sound.
"The resonation is perfect."