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Potter Hall Getting Facelift from Recent Donation

Inside Potter Hall, the band room carpet is stained and full of spit, there is a constant haze of sawdust in the air and the walls are weathered, yellowed and scuffed. Thanks to a recent donation, Potter Hall is getting a facelift that will drastically improve the appearance of the building. The Missouri Western Arts Society recently donated $32,000 to Potter Hall, which Dr. Bob Willenbrink, Dean of the School of Fine Arts, stated will be used in conjunction with House Bill 19 funding for building renovations. According to Willenbrink, the planned renovations include new flooring, ceiling tiles and paint in the hallways, stairwells and main instructional areas, like the band room. The HVAC system will also be replaced, which will improve the air quality and circulation, and the outside patio will be renovated to match the style of the Kelly Commons. Music student Jack Malo feels there is a pressing need for these updates. “If you go around to other buildings on campus, Potter is way behind in renovations. All of the items listed for the renovation are completely necessary just so Potter Hall seems more appealing to people auditioning here, and will make them want to come here more with nice, new facilities,” Malo said. Music student, Shian McBee shares a similar opinion. "[Potter Hall] is one of the most outdated buildings on campus in terms of its appearance, aside from the new bathrooms, of course." However, McBee believes the remaining funds should go toward accommodating the growing number of students rather than a new patio. As it currently stands, there is an increasing need for more studio and practice spaces, which vocal student, Lamont Broomfield, argues funds should be diverted to. Ultimately, Willenbrink hopes this simple renovation will make the building more attractive to potential donors so that the larger, more long-term renovations, such as adding studio space, can be accomplished. Director of Development Kim Weddle, who helped facilitate the donation, said this donation has been in development for over a year now. This time last year, the council, under former chairperson Bill Wright, voted to allocate a portion of membership dues towards Potter Hall renovations. The final amount of $32,000 was not predetermined, but was dependent upon the amount raised through membership dues. Willenbrink expects work to begin soon, with all projects planned to be finished in time for the Fall semester.

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