Have you ever been in the basement at JUC? If you can’t navigate stairs, probably not. The basement holds the YRUU room (which isn’t big enough – a story for another day) and the Priestley Room, where meetings and rehearsals are often held. The Priestley Room and the nearby hall also hold the majority of JUC’s music materials – file cabinets stuffed with sheet music, and the handbells and chimes used by the JUC Ringers.
Former Ringers director Bev Curtiss says the stairs were a real problem for her and a few others. “It is a big hassle to schlep the bells and pads up and down the stairs when we play on Sunday mornings, and rehearse in the sanctuary the Wednesday before,” she laments. “The bell cases are pretty heavy. And those of us who had to use the railing to go up and down, could not help schlep...” Worse yet, she says, two members who couldn’t climb the stairs quit Ringers altogether.
What does this have to do with Making Room? Oh, how the Ringers yearn for the day that we’re in a new space where there’s enough storage room on the main floor to store the bells, and they don’t have to schlep them up and down the stairs any more. If and when we find a new and larger campus, this is a BIG thing for the checklist: accessible storage – and more of it -- for JUC’s vibrant music program.