Music Building extension expected to be completed by 2016 fall semester, depending on funding

by Sasha Siclait

Exciting news has been buzzing around the music department for current and future music students of Whitworth about the addition of a new music building.

The construction of the new music building will begin as soon as this summer if fundraising goes as planned. All donations come from foundations, alumni and other supporters of Whitworth. The new addition will take about 15 months to finish, therefore if construction begins this summer it should be completed by fall of 2016.

“The timeline is dependent on fundraising, but could start as soon as this summer,” music professor Ben Brody said.

Since the music building is paid for entirely by donations, the costs of the building should not affect any of the current costs that music students already pay.

The announcement of a $2 million dollar donation from the Harriet Cheney Cowles Foundation happened over Whitworth’s 125th anniversary weekend on Oct. 11. The Cowles family has been a long time donor to the university, according to a recent article on the Whitworth website. In honor of their generous donation, the name of the new music building will be the “Cowles Music Center.”

“The music students work so hard to produce amazing performances and I’m really excited that we will have a facility that can show off the work that happens here,” sophomore music student Alexis Pursel said.

Cowles Music Center will feature new practice rooms and new teaching studios. The budget for the new building is $13.5 million and will occupy 21,481 square feet. 15,625 square feet of the current building will be remodeled and the new space will be attached to the current building.

“The construction should not affect music classes and students, since the renovation of the current building will likely happen during the summer when classes are not in session,” Brody said.

Many of the current music students are looking forward to the extension of the new music building, as spaces for rehearsals and performances are limited.

“We don’t have a choir rehearsal room right now, so it will be especially amazing for the choirs to have a space that they can make their own,” Pursel said.

“The building will provide much needed rehearsal, teaching, and practice space for student musicians,” Brody said. “In addition, the space will be much more open and inviting, with many places for students to congregate and study.”

Contact Sasha Siclait at

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