East Central College board members approved the institution’s share in the cost of a concert grand piano for the music department at the May meeting.

To facilitate the purchase, the ECC Foundation has agreed to fund the purchase from Piano Distributors of Chesterfield at a price of $47,500.

To date, funds to purchase the rebuilt nine-foot Yamaha concert grand piano total almost $31,000. The ECC Foundation, which is assisting with fundraising efforts, has contributed this year’s Patrons of the Arts contribution of $4,000 toward the purchase of the piano.

Several years ago an initial donation of $19,635 was received for the purchase of a grand piano. Fundraising activities in recent months has netted an additional $7,255.

Dr. Jon Bauer, vice president of finance and administration, noted that Dr. Jennifer Judd, associate professor of music at ECC, looked into purchasing a rebuilt piano earlier this year. “A comparable piano purchased new would likely cost in excess of $100,000,” Bauer said.

The college will fund an amount not to exceed $16,610, to be repaid to the Foundation over two years. $7,000 will come from funds that otherwise would have been used to purchase an upright piano for a practice room.

The remaining $6,610 will be funded out of course fees paid by students in the program.

The college will reimburse the Foundation for half of the balance in June of 2013, and the remainder in June 2014.

The two-year reimbursement period will allow fundraising to continue and lower the amount due from the college.

“This is an opportunity to strengthen a program that is already recognized as one of the best in the region and that enjoys widespread community support,” Bauer said.

Piano Distributors has allowed ECC to use the piano since early March.