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The Bernon Music Center: Expanding Post-Secondary Learning & Community Impact

Image of the early days of the construction of the Bernon Music Center in BHMA's backyard, showing an expansive area of dirt.

The changing New England seasons mark time at BHMA, and they act as the backdrop to the ongoing progress of the Bernon Music Center. Spring and its green hues welcomed the groundbreaking of the project, summer brought the clearing of trees and the laying of the foundation, and autumn’s foliage was met with the raising of the walls. And now, as winter presses on, efforts to construct the Bernon Music Center do as well. Despite recent snowfall and colder temperatures, the 8,000 square foot building continues to take shape. The newest additions include the installation of the roof and several windows. The building has transitioned from an idea and a blueprint to a tangible symbol of BHMA’s growth. As articulated by BHMA Founder Kay Bernon and the school’s Executive Director Michelle Theroux, “It is thrilling to see the dream become reality in the Bernon Music Center.”

Image of the walls of the Bernon Music Center under construction, surrounded by dirt.

The need for the Bernon Music Center arose in response to the growing demands and goals of BHMA’s current program. With rising enrollment numbers, the original building can no longer fully accommodate the direction the school is taking. The new building will give BHMA the space it needs to best provide for young adults with special needs and to instill in them the music, vocational, and independent living skills that will allow them to thrive. The building’s flexible and accessible layout promises a teaching kitchen, a recording studio, and a focus on assistive technologies that will create a barrier-free environment. The structure’s design is centered around an impressive performance space that will give students the proper stage to demonstrate their musical progress, and offers the opportunity to better engage the community with their achievements. The impact of BHMA’s mission is thus set to grow, as more people will be able to come to campus for performances, workshops, and gatherings.

Image of the progress made on the Bernon Music Center, with walls with siding and a roof overhead; the performance hall remains under construction.

The generosity of many contributing members to BHMA’s “Building Our Future” Capital Campaign has allowed for the execution of the school’s expansion plans. The $3.3 million campaign has reached the 87% mark, and thus indicates the steady progress that is being made in broadening BHMA’s programming reach. As the construction of the building continues, the final phase of the campaign is now underway with $370,000 left to raise. Every donation to the campaign helps to make BHMA bigger and better. The Bernon Music Center is on track to be completed in Spring 2017. Stay tuned! Pictured below (left to right): Main hallway, teaching kitchen, lobby, green room.

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