State lawmakers recently passed HB 687, the $3.5 billion biennial state capital bill, which includes $400,000 to renovate the Helen Rockwell Morley Memorial Music Building on Lake Erie College's campus in Painesville, Ohio. These funds will be used to repair 18 original sandstone steps and the underlying space; to provide ADA accessibility with entrance, exit, and restrooms; restore plaster and painted decorative ceiling elements; to renovate music education and practice rooms; and to restore the fountain motors and pumps.

“I was happy to sponsor the state funding for the Morley Music Building project. I have a long relationship with Lake Erie College, having graduated with two degrees and served on the board of directors. In addition to serving as an adjunct faculty, I was 2005 commencement speaker. Lake Erie College is an important part of our Lake County community and to me personally. Having walked through the building with President Posler, it was clear that this project needs to move forward, and we are happy to help make that happen,” said Senator Jerry C. Cirino (Senate District 18).

Situated at the gateway to the 160-year-old Lake Erie College campus, the Morley Music Building welcomes guests from across Ohio. This 800-seat venue serves not only the Lake Erie College campus, but also is a gathering and performance space for area K-12 students and community members.

The Morley Music Building was designed by Abram Garfield, the last of seven children of President James A. and Lucretia Rudolph Garfield. The colorful history of Morley Music Building is only hinted at by its classic Greek design and Bedford limestone construction. From the names of the composers carved on the stones of its exterior walls to the many famous musicians who have played on its stage, the Morley Music Building is surrounded in a rich history that parallels the unique history of Lake Erie College. In April of 1978, this tradition served all the people of Ohio when the Ohio Supreme Court held its sessions here. Of particular note, the Morley Music Building houses a grand 64-rank E.M. Skinner organ which was custom designed and built exclusively for the space.

When completed, the renovations will improve the performance experience for students studying Fine Arts as well as make Morley Music Building more accessible for the community of Painesville.   

The project’s support will benefit the general public and expand the facilities’ access to the community by improving access and expanding services.