Published September 27, 2023
In addition to new paint and floorcovering, the renovation of the DC3 vocal music room also included the installation of new Melhart risers. [Photo by Lakin Scheck]
The vocal music room in the Dodge City Community College (DC3) Fine Arts building recently got a facelift with new paint and equipment.
Associate Professor of Vocal Music, Kerry J. Kuplic, said the idea for the project grew out of a conversation he had had several months ago with Dr. Jane Holwerda, DC3 Vice President of Academic Affairs.
“She suggested I do something to bring some color and visual vibrancy to the room,” he said. “It was a real lightbulb moment for me. It started with a gorgeous purple accent wall and evolved from there.”
Holwerda who has collaborated with many faculty members over the past couple of years to enhance the learning environment of the college’s instructional spaces and classrooms, said the vocal music room had been overlooked inadvertently when the instrumental music room was updated about four years ago.
As a result of their conversation, renovation work officially began in fall 2022 and concluded in August 2023. Up first were repairs to the vocal music room’s walls and ceiling tiles, which included the removal of any leftover archaic technology.
“Once the risers were removed, the degraded condition of the flooring was exposed,” Holwerda said. “It was such that it couldn’t be repaired and would have to be replaced.”
So, Holwerda and Kuplic spoke with Jared Stevens, DC3 Director of Facilities and Operations, about some flooring possibilities. Stevens suggested having Guthrie Floor Covering, of Dodge City, install the same type of flooring that recently had been used in the Computer Science building.
“The new flooring is really lovely,” he said. “People still talk about how nice the floor is!”
After the structural remodeling was complete, the next subject of concern was finding a replacement for the vocal room’s aging and “well-used” Wenger risers, which Holwerda and Kuplic estimate were installed in 1970 when the Fine Arts building was built.
“I researched several companies that built risers for choral classrooms,” he said. “And we selected Melhart, from whom I had ordered equipment from in the past.”
After the new risers arrived on campus, Kuplic said they were assembled by DC3 maintenance staff. And when put in place, he said they instantly improved the entire flow of the room.
“The new ones fit the room beautifully,” he said. “They also provide a huge aesthetic appeal and some much-needed safety improvements.”
Kerry Kuplic, DC3 Associate Professor of Vocal Music (left), helps Reesa Nuss, sophomore, Jetmore, Kan., with a solo piece during a voice lesson on Sept. 15, in the newly renovated vocal music room. [Photo by Lakin Scheck]
Although Kuplic said he is “absolutely elated” about how the room looks after the renovation, he is also excited about how the upgrades have improved the room’s acoustics.
“It always had a nice acoustic, but now it’s very live,” he said. “Removing the old particleboard risers had an enormous effect on the acoustics of the room. Students don’t have to work hard at all now to hear their sound.”
Holwerda said that in order to see projects like these come to completion, it takes an entire village.
“I really appreciate the time and work of facilities, faculty and administration in making the improvements to the Fine Arts vocal music room happen,” she said. “It’s amazing the impact fresh paint and new furniture can have on faculty morale and students’ attitudes toward learning!”
By Lance ZieschDC3 Assistant Director of Marketing and Community Relations