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Planned expansion at Shurney Center to introduce music tech to teens

Published on July 2, 2024

If music rocks your world or jazzes you up but you’re trying to figure out how to continue developing your skills (or just get started), a project in the planning stages at the Dr. Robert Shurney Legacy Center may be what you’re looking for.

The City is studying expansion of the studio/makerspace area at the North Huntsville Library within the Shurney Legacy Center through revitalization of the facility’s vacant second floor. Plans focus on using that expanded space to introduce teens and young adults to the technology of music and for workforce development programs within the creative sector.

The project builds on popular music programs already offered at the library and aligns with the City’s objective to grow as a music city.

“We already have a little bit of that space downstairs in the library and there’s demand for more,” City Administrator John Hamilton said. “There was a desire to expand it in partnership with the City’s Music Office. What are the things we need to do to grow the local music industry? One of them is introducing people to recording and music production and performance. So, it’s a workforce development effort and that really starts fitting very closely with what the library already does as part of their mission.”

Council Member Devyn Keith, whose district includes the Shurney Legacy Center, said he is excited about the project’s potential.

“This is another promise kept to the community that we were looking at unique ways to integrate public spaces for public use,” Keith said. “We made a commitment to that site to be unique, for it to magnetize and give people from all over the city a reason to come to north Huntsville.”

This project seeks to partner with private industry, aiming to provide teens and young adults with a foundation in music that could jumpstart careers in the industry.

“I think you’ll see is a good marriage between public education and private industry,” Hamilton said. “That’s what we want it to be. It would fill a void in access to exposure and learning some basic skills.”

Keith said the studio/makerspace will be another amenity that makes Huntsville special.

“This is a place where a mother or a father might introduce an instrument to their son or daughter,” Keith said. “It’s going to be something so unique that not many other cities have. I’m just excited to be a part of it.”