BATAVIA – The former Louise White School has a new life as a school of music.
In June, Music Matters School of Music moved into the 1893 building, located at 24 N. Washington Ave. in downtown Batavia. Music Matters previously had been on Wilson Street in downtown Batavia for eight years.
"We thought it would be great to be inside a house of education," said Jeff Matter, the Music Matters director and a lifelong Batavia resident, during Saturday's open house. "It's been a labor of love to bring this building back to one we could all enjoy."
As it so happens, Matter was celebrating his 36th birthday on Saturday.
"I can't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday," he said.
Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke took note of the building's history. Schielke went to school in the building and is a cousin of White, who taught in the Batavia school system for 10 years.
"Thank you for preserving a major part of Batavia history," Schielke said, in addressing Jeff Matter and his father, Cyril Matter, CEO of Barco Products, which also moved into the building.
Barco Products, which makes a variety of products, including benches, picnic tables, bike racks and signs, previously was located in the Newton House in downtown Batavia.
The new space is bigger than Music Matters' former location, which will give the school the space to offer additional programs, such as theater classes for grades kindergarten through high school.
"It's something that I always wanted to have," Jeff Matter said. "There is a real need for this type of instruction."
Carrie Schafer, who previously had been teaching acting classes out of her Batavia home, is the new acting director at Music Matters. She said she is glad to see Music Matters expanding its reach.
"I think it is a good thing for Batavia in general," Schafer said. "It will get a lot more talented kids involved."
Information about Music Matters is available at its website, www.musicmattersschool.com, or by calling 630-406-8742.