Will Ferraro searched all across the country for the right place to house his vision, Medusa Recording Institute, a recording studio and educational center.
His quest led him to Youngstown, where he said he “fell in love” with a 16,000-square-foot building on South Avenue.
“It’s a big brick mansion,” he said. “It’s got brick running from the basement up to the top and these big steel beams. We needed something incredibly solid.”
He has spent the last few years converting the structure into a four-studio facility where he will initiate his accelerated program for audio engineering.
He said the institute has been licensed by the Ohio Board of Career Colleges and Schools.
At $3,500 for six weeks of instruction, the courses will cover the basic principles while giving students 24-hour access to the studios once they’ve been trained.
“We want our students to be the most well-rounded people in the workforce,” said Mycal Shroyer, one of the institute’s six full-time instructors. “We trim the fat and cut the fluff so students can learn the skills they need.”
Shroyer helped Ferraro renovate the building. They selected specialized equipment and molded the space for their purposes. After five years of preparations, two were spent developing the curriculum, the pair is excited to get started.
The institute will host an open house for community members and prospective students, which will include a live recording in the main space, the Studio Proper on Saturday, a little more than a week before classes begin Jan. 6.
A graduate of the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Arizona, Ferraro operated a recording studio in Tempe, Ariz., while dreaming up the institute.
“I felt there was a market for a school that was more affordable than most other places,” he said. “Kids come out of school with $90,000-plus in debt when they could have gotten those skills in other places.”
Ferraro said the small scale of his institute will offer students a more “hands-on” experience than they would have at a traditional university.
“The school is set up, first and foremost, to be a world-class recording studio,” he said. “It’s much better than sitting in a class, listening to a professor.”