April 12, 2021

MSM unveils plans for new Student Union and Student Lounge

President Gandre recently announced plans for two newly designed campus spaces: The Linda Bell Mercuro and Tobia G. Mercuro Student Union along with the centerpiece of the Union, The Baisley Powell Elebash Fund Student Lounge.

“These new spaces will represent a profound enhancement to student life at MSM,” writes Manhattan School of Music President Gandre in an email to the community. “I look forward to enjoying these spaces with the MSM Community in the very near future!”

The updated space includes a raised platform for seating, and dividers with greenery

The Linda Bell Mercuro and Tobia G. Mercuro Student Union

This beautifully designed space, which begins construction this summer and was designed by the Brooklyn-based studio Lubrano Ciavarra, the same architectural firm that designed MSM’s Andersen Hall Level C practice rooms and acting/dance studios (https://lcnyc.com/), is expected to open by the new academic year this fall.

The Mercuro Union will be comprised of:

  • Newly redesigned Baisley Powell Elebash Fund Student Lounge (see below);
  • Expanded and redesigned Student Life Office;
  • Campus Store (moving from its current location next to the Box Office in Andersen Hall); and
  • Cafeteria.

In fall 2020, Linda Bell Mercuro and Toby Mercuro, who both tragically succumbed to COVID-19 earlier this year, pledged $1 million for an endowment to name this wonderful new Student Union. Linda had been a member of our Board of Trustees for the last decade; she and her husband Toby generously pledged this gift to MSM, an institution they loved and cherished.

“I am deeply saddened that they will not be with us to see this project completed,” writes President Gandre. “But I take some small solace in the fact that they were able to share in the excitement as the designs for the project were realized.”

A mirror installed behind wood-panelling reflects light from above

The Baisley Powell Elebash Fund Student Lounge

This summer marks the launch of a major renovation that will see the transformation of the former MSM entrance lobby, situated at the top of the cafeteria stairs.

The 2,000 square-foot space will be made over into a vibrant space for students, thanks to $550,000 in dedicated donations, including $450,000 from The Baisley Powell Elebash Fund and $100,000 from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York’s Higher Education Capital Program (HECap).

The new lounge will be a place where students can socialize and relax between classes, practice sessions, and rehearsals, or at the end of a long day. It will be a center of gravity for student life that will also serve as a gathering place for various functions and get-togethers, and will accommodate newly expanded offices and student group spaces for the Student Life department.

This multi-purpose lounge will feature comfortable and movable furniture to support a variety of social, educational, and service activities.