Without a doubt, there will be many things to love and appreciate about new the permanent home of the Omaha Conservatory of Music. Once the newness wears off, though, some of the best features of this building will be things you probably won’t notice.
To be fair, some of them will be infrastructure-based and therefore hidden from view anyway…
In addition to all the benefits that natural light provides, the large windows are also specially sealed to allow for humidity control throughout the building — a VERY important necessity for stringed instruments.
In our current facility, humidifiers are placed in those rooms with stringed instruments and are filled and maintained by staff during the winter months — a daily duty we’re looking forward to forgetting about entirely!
One of the things we’re most looking forward to in our new permanent home is how much more room our renowned artist faculty will have to teach their lessons. There’s a reason we’re back-to-back Best of Omaha winners for music lessons — and we plan to keep it that way!!
And have we mentioned the WINDOWS?! Not only will we have a lot more teaching spaces, but the majority of those rooms will have an abundance of natural light.
The administrative area of our new permanent home has seen a little quicker transformation, mostly because it’s a more compact area of the building (in yellow in the “zoned” version of the building plans) — and it probably doesn’t hurt that it was an administrative area to begin with.
This area will also have a conference room that will double as a Green Room, with easy access to the main performance hall stage.
Our executive director, Ruth Meints, will occupy the corner office — with lots of windows! — which is being outfitted with soundproofing features so the room can double as her violin/viola studio space.
The space shown below was initially used as conference/break room for the construction crew, but has now begun its transformation into the office of Candace Jorgensen, director of programming and community engagement. Candace, who also runs our String Sprouts program, will have added soundproofing features in her office, too, so she can continue teaching cello in the same space.
If you ask any of the Omaha Conservatory of Music’s artist-faculty what they’re most excited about in our new building, chances are very good most of them will mention the windows.
Aside from the fact that we don’t have a lot of natural light coming into most areas of our current location, the windows at our new location are just downright impressive — in size AND technology.
Not only are they simply GINORMOUS (and plentiful!), they’re also going to be expertly installed in coming days to ensure that the entire building maintains a specific climate ideal for musical instruments. That means higher humidity in the winter, and sophisticated climate-control 24/7-365.
Sure, we won’t be able to open the windows on a beautiful sunny spring day, or a warmer-than-usual fall one, but we also won’t have to worry about a rash of broken strings — all while still being able to enjoy some views of the nature we’ll be surrounded by, even if it’s merely across sunlit corner showcasing only the bricks of our building.
After a bit of a post-demolition summer hiatus while plans were finalized, construction began at a rapid pace immediately following the Labor Day holiday.
Those first few days meant lots of supplies coming in and getting stockpiled in open areas of the building.
Then came the installation of infrastructure — from plumbing to electricity to conduit for phones and internet wiring and such. Jackhammers tore up floors, holes were cut through walls — all according to plan, of course, to get all those very important “skeletal” parts of a building you rarely see and never think about, exactly where they need to be.
Then frames started going up. And walls… (to be continued)
From this point forward, each post on this blog will show the building coming to life. It’s going to be a fun ride!
Anyone who’s worked on a large-scale project knows things are always changing. And while these plans aren’t an exact plan of our new space anymore, they are pretty darn close — and the most recent drawings we have available. Have a look!