Iowa City City High Shows Off New Performance Wing
By Alison Sullivan, Reporter
IOWA CITY, Iowa- Soft melodies from a student string quartet floated over City High students and community members as they meandered throughout the school's new performing arts wing.
City High held an official dedication ceremony Sunday where students showcased their musical talents in honor of the new space.
The $6.2 million addition includes updated rehearsal rooms for band, orchestra, and choir with individual and ensemble practice rooms and more storage space. The wing also includes a scenery building shop for drama productions, several additional classrooms and computer labs.
Despite the new technologies and beautiful design, there's one thing many can't stop talking about: There's so much space.
“We had more students than we could comfortably fit in the (old) space,” Principal John Bacon told The Gazette. “We were just really cramming them in.”
City High has more than 500 students active in the school's various performing arts and music programs. The music program has achieved numerous accolades and awards over the years.
Bacon said he's been involved with the project since his first day at City High in 2010 and he's relieved to see the project completed.
“I hope you see this as a validation of the hard work you put in everyday,” Bacon told students during the dedication ceremony in Opstad Auditorium.
During the dedication a naming ceremony was held for the new orchestra room, named after former City High orchestra director, Candace Wiebener. Wiebener, who retired in 2012 after 42 years, reminisced on the years she spent without a classroom or with accommodations less-than-ideal for string instruments. And now after many years a beautiful rehearsal space is named after her.
"I must admit, it feels surreal," Wiebener said.
Lynn Holmes and her daughter Natalie Holmes, a freshman at City High, couldn't help but smile as they looked at all the room the new space provides.
"That's what they say when they come home, is about the space," Lynn Holmes said.
Natalie Holmes, a City High student and violinist, said she's grateful she is able to utilize the new music facility.
"It's amazing to see how much people have given to the arts," Holmes said.
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