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
“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
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.