James Madison University Music Building


Special Features

This 60,000-square-foot building is one of the newer buildings constructed on the upper “quad” at JMU. Because of its proximity to many of the older Madison campus buildings, this project needed to retain the original design of “bluestone” walls and terra-cotta roofi ng. Due to the absence of a local quarry, this project was the fi rst building constructed at JMU that did not use native “bluestone” limestone. Instead, limestone was trucked in from New York and local craftspeople were used for the fi nal cut and placement.

The design for this building placed high emphasis on acoustics and sound proofi ng. Structural concrete frame and fl oors, solid masonry interior walls, and real plaster stucco were all chosen to meet the special acoustic needs. Custom acoustic clouds were built from wood and insulation and hung at specifi c angles. All classrooms featured insulated fl oating wood fl oors over concrete. In addition, vibration isolation was used in many areas. The building includes music classrooms, individual practice rooms, staff offi ces, a music library, and a large practice room that accommodates a 90-piece band.

The Nielsen Partnership

According to Project Manager Dick Holsinger, “It is always diffi cult to predict the way a music building will ‘perform’ and owner use is the best test of both design and construction. Paying attention to the small details was the key—no re-work was required. Nielsen is proud of this facility—both in quality of the design and construction—and it is especially gratifying for us to see James Madison University’s outstanding accomplishments in music.”