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SUNY Potsdam receives $3 million for Crane School of Music

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POTSDAM — SUNY Potsdam secured $3 million in state capital funding to build two large rehearsal rooms for the Crane School of Music.

Michael R. Sitton, dean of the music school, said that not only have the school’s ensembles grown, but the largest spaces they were using need “acoustic improvements, which will mean new rooms altogether.”

Mr. Sitton said the school has become more focused on hearing health in the past few years. He said the ensemble rooms it had been using are too small for the size of the ensembles and the noise could affect the hearing of those who are exposed to it.

“It’s a significant number,” said state Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome. “Obviously, we’ve got a ways to go, but this is a step in the right direction.”

The school has been in conversation with Sen. Griffo’s office for about a year, seeking funding for the project after the National Association of Schools of Music visited Crane. The association reported that the sound the large ensembles produce exceeds the nationally recommended guidelines and building codes for sound in that size space.

“There will probably be additional resources in the future that will assist with this project, but the $3 million is enough to move forward,” Mr. Sitton said.

Vicki L. Templeton-Cornell, vice president for college advancement at SUNY Potsdam, said the $3 million should cover the “bulk” of the project, but the college does not have an estimated final cost yet.

The rooms will be built on the south side of Bishop Hall and will be used by the school’s bigger ensembles.

“We’ll be moving ahead as quickly as we can,” Mr. Sitton said. “Students will be able to play and hear their fellow students and professors play in a better acoustical environment.”

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