Facilities officials continue to work on renovations in Gold Star Memorial Building.
After students created a petition asking for improvements to the building last February, officials prioritized and began improvements.
Gold Star houses classrooms, rehearsal spaces, faculty offices, and the Honors Hall.
A few improvements were completed last year. Two classrooms on the south side of the basement were finished. The floor was also replaced in Studio A, a theater classroom in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center, as part of renovations for the School of Theatre.
These improvements were in response to the petition’s request for new flooring to prevent injury and promote sanitation.
Facilities officials also installed black curtains over the studio’s mirrors during winter break at the request of acting professors and students.
Other improvements also began during winter break, including a new heating and air conditioning system and soundproofed classrooms.
New heating and air conditioning units were installed in the third-floor classrooms of Gold Star.
Facilities officials are still working on the unit on the north side of the basement. The improvements will help maintain a consistent building temperature.
Sierra Paul, theater education sophomore, said the improvements make class and rehearsal easier.
“The new classrooms in the basement will allow more spaces for students to rehearse in, and the soundproofing makes it a lot easier to concentrate, since we can’t hear the other classes,” Paul said.
Jeff Cochran, associate professor of stage and production management and director of global initiatives, oversees the renovations and said there is no completion date.
“The third floor is already done, and the basement is under construction now,” Cochran said. “I’ve gotten positive feedback from both teachers and students about the improvements.”
Maddy Donatelli, acting sophomore, said the new heating and air conditioning units seem to make the rooms feel more temperate, though their appearance is unusual.
“They look like teleportation devices,” Donatelli said. “I’m more comfortable, except for the worry that I might be sucked up at any moment.”
Paul said she’s glad they got air conditioning.
“It’s finally not boiling hot in Studio C, which is nice. I had two classes in there last semester, and it was rough,” she said.
Soundproofing, another main request of the original petition, was completed in the third floor classrooms during the break. Soundproofing was done by building the walls up to the ceiling, closing a gap between classrooms.
Vocal production, a class that normally takes place in the north side of the basement, has been moved to the third floor of Gold Star during construction. The class typically takes place in the basement because it requires a private space for silent yoga and frequent loud vocal exercises.
Dawson MacLeod, acting junior, said he is surprised by how well the soundproofing works.
“Vocal prod and Chekhov are right next to each other on the third floor and we can’t hear anything,” MacLeod said. “I thought it would be a nightmare, but it’s actually not.”
Editor’s Note: Harrison Langford, associate community manager, was one of two students who drafted the petition asking for improvements to the building. He was not involved in the writing of this story.