By Abigail Cloutier
Youngstown State University’s Bliss Hall received renovations over the summer to improve the look and atmosphere of the building.
The renovations included fresh paint, new LED lights and an updated student lounge on the second floor. New security measures were installed, such as security cameras in all the stairwells and exits of the multistoried building.
Stephen Gage, director of bands and orchestra, said he utilizes Bliss Hall every day, and he is excited about the renovations.
“We needed a face-lift, and we got a great one,” he said.
Gage said the new aesthetic beauty of Bliss is important because it’s a music and arts college, and he suspects there will be tight instructions from those who run Bliss to keep it neat and orderly.
“Students have already received notice in a July email that they are no longer allowed to post anything in Bliss unless it is on designated boards, a big change from the posters and stickers that covered lockers and stairwells several months ago,” he said.
One concern that still exists is the lack and optimization of space, and some faculty members hope that less cosmetic and more structural renovations allow for better utilization of space in the future.
The renovation has partially addressed the problem by removing student lockers in the second floor hallway with the intention to replace them with cabinets.
Amy Crawford, telecommunication studies professor, said space is one of the most valuable commodities on a college campus.
“It’s just a matter of seeing where Bliss goes with that space going forward,” she said.
Ryan Donchess, media engineer at YSU, said the second floor of Bliss Hall is more inviting with the overhaul of the walls, floor, ceiling and lighting, and he believes there is always room for improvement.
“For now, though, I think it is about maintaining the space and keeping it looking good for the next phase of improvement, which hopefully would actually be changing the footprint of the building,” he said.
Jacob Provino, a music education major and a marching band member, said he hopes the new look positively impacts students’ attitudes.
“I think it’s much more bright and vibrant now. It feels like a different space. I hope people will acknowledge that, and it will help with a new atmosphere,” Provino said.
He said the updates show the university is changing with each year because the Dana School of Music is nearly 150 years old.
Lauren Zetts, a music education major, said the building has changed drastically.
“As a fourth year student, everything was all right before, but it feels more open and welcoming, and I’m ready to start my day when I walk in the building,” Zetts said.
She said when people are deciding what college to attend, it’s important to feel comfortable there, and the new Bliss Hall renovations will help students to get the most out of their college experience.