Feb 092004
 
Authors: Erin Frustaci

The construction project of the School of the Arts at CSU still

needs fine-tuning.

The new University Center for the Arts will be in the restored

and remodeled old Fort Collins High School on East Pitkin and

Remington streets, but it is unknown when the entire project will

be finished.

“The ultimate goal is to give the Department of Music, Theatre

and Dance, as well as the whole campus adequate performance and

instructional facilities for the performing arts for the first time

in the history of CSU,” said Michael Thaut, co-director of the

School of the Arts. There are also plans to invite world renowned

artists to guest perform.

The project has three stages, the first of which is the concert

hall. This new addition is expected to be finished in April and

will officially open in the fall. Funding was raised privately at a

cost of $7 million.

“It’s going to be awesome,” Thaut said. “People will be blown

away by the beauty of the concert hall, the acoustics and the

talent of the students.”

The facility will be used by all departments within the School

of Arts. This includes the Department of Music, Theater and Dance,

as well as the art department. These departments have grown in the

last few years.

Thaut said CSU has had the largest increase in music majors the

last two years throughout Colorado. This means the department is

outgrowing is facilities. The Music Building was never intended to

be for music, it used to be the old library.

Because the different performing arts often work closely

together, the concert hall will be an advantage for programs like

the musical opera.

William Davis, program director of Music, said most students do

not realize the Lory Student Center must be rented out any time a

concert is going to be held. Students are also required to carry

music stands and chairs over from the Music Building.

“It’s going to be more convenient because we can have rehearsals

and concerts there,” Davis said. “Being in our own building will be

a huge advantage for us.”

The second stage is going to include performance venues and is

expected to be finished in the summer of 2005. This section will be

located in what used to be the gym. It was also funded by a private

gift of roughly $5 million given by the Bohemian Foundation.

The third of the building was going to include classrooms, labs,

practice rooms, faculty offices and an art gallery. CSU President

Larry Penley is in the process of evaluating funding

alternatives.

“It’s kind of a bummer because some of us won’t be able to see

it all finished,” said Michelle Newton, a junior music education

major. “Talent has grown and a new building will increase that

growth even more.”

Rusty Quinlan, a junior music performance major, has been

disappointed by the delay.

“I am looking forward to having real practice rooms and a

concert hall, but at the same time, am frustrated with the progress

because no one seems to know when it will be completed,” Quinlan

said.

Until more funding is made available, there is no way to tell

when the third stage of the project will be completed.

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