Administration’s new plans for former KCYA space

KCYA vacated the third and fourth floors of M&A, providing the administration with curriculum expanding opportunities.


The third floor of M&A, where KCYA’s offices used to be located, are currently uninhabited by any faculty or staff members of STA. There are currently plans to fill the vacant space, but the plans are undetermined. photo by Anna Louise Sih

by Anne Claire Tangen and Anna Louise Sih

story by Anne Claire Tangen

Kansas City Young Audiences (KCYA) moved out of the third and fourth floors of the M&A Building, moving to a bigger location on Main Street in November of last year. Plans for the space are not yet resolute, but include propositions such as a recording studio, French and Spanish conversation tables, new classrooms and relocation of faculty and staff.

STA administration asked KCYA to look for a new space almost a year and a half ago to expand academic curriculum, according to STA president Nan Bone. Bone insists the parting was not something done out of spite, but an opportunity for both institutions to stretch their wings.

“We told them that we liked this partnership and we loved to support a nonprofit,” Bone said. “But, they used our facility all summer, which was hard on us, and there were some spaces we needed at the same time.”

As for exploring the curriculum needs, the administration has taken the M&A teachers on tours to see if they would like to do anything in the office spaces, according to Bone.

“Mr. Perry said that he’d love to have a recording studio and so would we,” Bone said.

Principal of Student Affairs Liz Baker adds that they’re considering building a production studio. Since a lot of teachers utilize flipped classrooms, Baker wants a quiet room for them to record their videos, along with opportunities for students to do announcements online.

“World language [suggested] conversational French and Spanish [tables], kind of like a hub,” Bone said.

Head of the STA Language Department Julia Gargallo further explained the conversation table as “giving girls the opportunity to speak more.”

“In class, so much grammar and reading activities are done so that we don’t have time to speak much,” Gargallo said. “Some of the girls feel a little intimidated talking to the entire group, so it would be better if [there were] rooms where a few girls could go and be given a prompt to discuss.”

Bone adds that the absence of KCYA opens up opportunities to relocate offices in the gym that will be displaced during construction this summer or to move teachers in the basement of M&A near their own department.

Other ideas include department meeting spaces, rooms for monitored free periods, college planning rooms or storage space.

In the meantime, Baker notes that admittance to the third and fourth floors is very restricted for students.

“At this point, there’s limited accessibility,” Baker said. “Except for tutors who are helping out on the fourth floor and practice rooms for those who are in fine arts or take piano classes.”

“For right now, we’re not saying, ‘Yes, you can have that,’ to every teacher,” Bone said. “We want to know what’s happening when we tear into the gym and how long have we displaced those people. We know that the gym will be off limits this summer, but we think we can get back in and have classes this next school year.”

photos by Anna Louise Sih