Designs Unveiled For New Uptown Art And Theatre Complex

Architects and University President Frank Brown Thursday unveiled the designs for Columbus State Universitys new art and theatre complex being planned along the river in Uptown Columbus.

 

Were describing these new facilities as world-class, but thats not a label were using lightly, Brown said. The best technology, engineering and planning available are going into the designs for our art and theatre departments to make an Uptown fine and performing arts campus that will be a spectacular asset to our university and to our community.

Demolition on a portion of the old Pillowtex building should begin in early September to make way for construction of a new teaching theatre that will extend across what is now Bay Avenue. The rest of the building will be renovated for art studios, galleries and other teaching spaces.

One Arsenal Place, across Dillingham Street, will be renovated into classroom and faculty offices. The renovation and construction work should begin in early 2005, after a builder has been selected.

 

Approval to move CSUs art and theatre departments to Uptown Columbus came from the University System of Georgia Board of Regents in fall 2002. That approval followed a record gift of $25 million to Columbus State half of which is pledged to the uptown project from the Bradley-Turner Foundation. The pledge is by far the largest the university has ever received. It also ranks as one of the most significant to any University System of Georgia institution.

The total cost of the academic buildings will probably end up in the neighborhood of $30 million, Brown estimated, noting that all of the funding will come from private support through the universitys Investment in People campaign.

CSU Vice President for Academic Affairs Martha Saunders said the new facilities for art and theatre will give those nationally accredited departments the caliber of teaching, rehearsal and creative spaces to match caliber of faculty and students already on campus.

These two departments will join the Schwob School of Music which is also nationally accredited in Uptown to create another avenue for enriching the quality of our entire student body, Saunders said. Its very exciting to see these plans take shape after months and months of input from the faculty who will be teaching there.

Hammel, Green and Abrahamson, Inc. (HGA) based in Minnesota, and Stevens & Wilkinson Stang & Newdow, Inc. of Atlanta are the architects collaborating on the design.

HGA has worked on projects such as the National Museum of Natural History Discovery Center - Smithsonian Institution Washington, D.C.; the Michigan State University, Kresge Art Museum in East Lansing, Mich.; and Florida State University Concert Hall in Tallahassee. Stevens & Wilkinson Stang & Newdows portfolio includes the Daniel Guggenheim Building at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta; Riverbanks Zoological Park and Botanical Gardens in Columbia, S.C.; and Imagine It! The Childrens Museum of Atlanta.

To make room for the new construction, Bay Avenue will be closed permanently starting in early September between 10th Street and Dillingham Street. About the same time, a temporary safety fence will go up on part of the park next to the river to protect the construction site. That fence will be removed as construction is completed and work begins to enhance and permanently preserve the park for public use.

 

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For more information, please contact public relations director John Lester at 706-562-1652 or by e-mail at lester_john@ColumbusState.edu.