Renovations to begin this semester in theater, music and art departments

By Amy Huber, Editor –

Five new art studios, three classrooms and an exhibition gallery head the list of

improvements planned for the new Creative and Performing Arts Center.

Also planned are a kiln room, improvements to the Overbook Theater and performing

arts space, plus an expanded lab and multimedia instructional space.

The project is expected to cost $6.1 million and is part of a campus-wide building project

totaling more than $44.5 million over the next two years.

“When finished it will be the premier arts facility in West Michigan,” said Andy Wible,

chair of the Arts and Humanities Dept.

Renovations are expected to begin this semester in the theater, music and art departments.

“Most construction will be in the summer to minimize the effect on students,” said Wible,

“but it will likely start in the spring of 2017.”

Wible said the project is a work in progress, with architects currently gathering input

from faculty, staff and students.

“The plan is to move the art department out of their current building that was built as a

temporary facility in 1978,” he said “We will also move the music department out of its current

location in the basement which is too small.”

He added that the theater will be renovated to improve acoustics as well as technical

aspects.

“There will also be a new dance studio and media center for broadcasting and

journalism,” said Wible. “The main office will be updated to allow more office space and greater

efficiency. All this will include new classrooms and student space.”

The art department currently sits in an old metal pole building that was built in the ’70s

as a temporary fix.

Years have passed and the antiquated building suffers from inadequate heat, ventilation,

cooling, lighting, and storage. This building also serves as a breeding ground for spiders

Plans are under way to renovate and expand the Overbrook area, which will improve

acoustics as well as technical aspects.

“Muskegon County has a rich and proud history not only of supporting the arts, but also

of producing its own talented artists, many of whom make their living operating small studios in

our communities,” said President Dale Nesbary. “MCC’s art facilities need to be up to the

highest standards to meet the expectations of and continue the educational process for these

talented students.”

Other building projects included in the overall master plan include a STEM (science,

technology, engineering and math) center, completed last fall at a cost of $9.6 million; the

downtown center, in progress and expected to cost $14.77 million; and a health and wellness

center, planned to open in the fall of 2017 at a cost of $14.2 million.

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