January 4, 2018 marked a historic moment for students, faculty and staff at UWindsor’s School of Creative Arts.
Over the last four years, the late-19th-century Romanesque structure in the city’s downtown core reverberated with the frenzied sounds of construction.
But on Thursday, the notes from students practising piano and lectures by professors in classrooms drifted up to fill the lofty Windsor Armouries.
“So many people contributed to this project and now seeing it come to life is pretty incredible,” said University of Windsor President Alan Wildeman.
“I don’t think there’s a place like this in Canada right now that combines such nationally recognized history with the technology and capabilities that today’s students need.
“If I was doing it all over again, I think I’d want to be a music student studying here.”
Trevor Pittman, SoCA's operations manager, watches as Dr. Alan Wildeman plays the piano in a new practice room at the Windsor Armouries.
Dr. Wildeman toured the facility on its first day of classes, chatting with students in the hallways, visiting classrooms and improvising some melodies on practice room pianos.
“It’s great to be able to come in and learn, practice, perform and create in spaces that inspire learning,” Wildeman said.
“We’ve never had space like this that have actually been designed for the sole purpose of inspiring creative artistic minds, with spaces for artists and musicians customized to their needs.”
Film production studios, editing suites, a sonic art studio and making studio for sculpture, metal and woodworking will be housed in the Freedom Way building.
The Armouries boasts 12 practice rooms for musicians, a performance and practice hall, a library, classrooms, offices, a keyboard and computer lab, photography and painting studios, and the Visual Arts and the Built Environment Studio.
For more information about the School of Creative Arts, visit www.uwindsor.ca/soca.
Richard Householder, Trevor Pittman, Bruce Kotowich and Alan Wildeman examine the Armoury's original foundation which remains on display in the new building.