Macalester Fine Arts Center approved for renovation


A rendering of the proposed Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center Commons as viewed from the East entrance

The board of Macalester College has given the thumbs up to move on the first phase of a $39.8 million renovation and expansion of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center. The project is scheduled to begin in January 2011.

The fine arts center, built in 1965, houses the Music, Art, and Theatre & Dance Departments. The first phase of the project will renovate and expand the Music building, including the concert hall, add rehearsal space, and create an “Arts Commons” (see above photo) which will house new art history classrooms and a new art gallery.

The first phase is expected to take 18 months, reopening in fall 2012.


A view of the renovated Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center from outside the Shaw Field entrance

According to a release, the renovation and expansion project cost is $33.8 million. In conjunction with the arts improvements, the college will also complete a $6 million, 31,000 square foot renovation of the facilities department, located in the lower level of the building, bringing the total project cost to $39.8 million. The college has raised $16.5 million towards a $24 million fundraising goal focused solely on the arts building improvements. The college will bond for the remaining $15.8 million.

HGA of Minneapolis is the architect and McGough Construction of St. Paul is the contractor.

The second phase of the project is set to begin once the first phase is complete and remaining funds are raised. Phase Two will include the Art, and Theatre and Dance Department buildings.

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