The university’s Ballet and Modern Dance Building will undergo its first major renovation beginning late this December, which may cause some sacrifice from both the dance department and University Recreation Center patrons.
Two of the dance studios as well as the costume shop, pilates studio and computer lab will all be moving to the University Recreation Center. The dance faculty offices will be moving into the former Writing Center in the Rickel wing. A third studio space will also be created at the bottom floor of the GrandMarc apartments, Ellen Shelton, the dance director, said.
“I think it’ll be an adventure, and I’m sure that great things will come of it,” Hannah Ernest, a senior ballet and modern dance double major, said.
Director of Campus Recreation Steve Kintigh said the dance department will be taking over Multipurpose Room 1 and general use will not be available for the spring semester.
“We looked at all kinds of options,” Shelton said. “We’re putting them out in a lot of different ways and so we’re trying to give from our end also.”
The department was previously looking at having Multipurpose Rooms 1, 2 and 3.
All workout classes will continue to be held in Multipurpose Room 2, Kintigh said. The revised workout schedule will be available before the start of the spring semester.
“We’re still going to have 40-plus classes per week but they’re all going to be in Multipurpose 2 and 3,” Kintigh said.
Kintigh said the only concern he had was that Multipurpose Room 2 was 1,000 feet smaller than Multipurpose Room 1.
Some changes will be made to Multipurpose Room 1 in order to accommodate the needs of the dancers.
Along with building a wall in Multipurpose Room 1 to create two separate dance spaces, dance floors will also be installed to ensure the dancers’ safety, Shelton said.
Once the dance building renovations are completed, the dance floors and wall will be removed from Multipurpose Room 1, Kintigh said.
All renovations are expected to be completed by August of next year, Kintigh said. The floors in Multipurpose Room 1 will also be resurfaced once the temporary dance floors are removed.
As for the renovations, the dance building’s core will remain the same but one studio will be enlarged and an elevator will be installed. The first floor, basement and stairs will all be removed and redone. Shelton said new public restrooms will also be added to the building.
“I am disappointed since it is my senior year, but we’re all mature about it and level-headed,” Ernest said.
The dance building is one of the last to be renovated on the university campus. Ernest said she thinks having dance classes around campus will help bring more visibility to the dance department.