ASI Announces $67 Million Improvements to the Visual Arts Center | Campus News

New details about planned improvements to the Cal State Fullerton Visual Arts Center were presented by Arnold Holland, Dean of the College of the Arts, at the Student Associate Board meeting on Tuesday.

“The biggest thing that will happen over the next two years is the modernization of the visual arts complex,” Holland said.

Originally built in 1969, Holland said the buildings haven’t really been touched since then, even though the department has become one of the largest in the CSU system.

“The College of the Arts is the largest field at Cal State Fullerton, other than athletics,” Holland said. The upgrades will add approximately 55,000 square feet of space to the center.

At $67.4 million, funding for the project will come from public and private philanthropic resources. Holland said the final step in the process would get the go-ahead from the board during a presentation on Wednesday.

Most buildings in the center, located at the corner of State College Boulevard. and Arts Drive, just past the Nutwood parking structure, will undergo transformations ranging from a “light touch” to a complete replacement, Holland said.

Seismic renovations will bring the center’s aging structures up to code and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The occupation of the new buildings is scheduled for December 2024.

Plans include new offices, graduate studios, computer labs, modular teaching spaces and galleries.

Holland said the visual arts department’s many galleries are currently located in the middle of several buildings. According to the new plans, all the galleries will be located in a single building, which will help improve opening procedures and access.

As a bonus, the galleries will face one of the main entrance gates to campus and allow easier access for the public when attending concerts and other events at the Clayes Performing Arts Center on the other side. path.

Holland said the department accounts for about 50% of College of the Arts programs, with theater and dance at 30% and music at about 20%. Currently serving around 3,000 students, Holland estimates that the improvements to the center will accommodate an additional 135 students and 17 additional faculty.

“In general, we can probably accommodate a growth rate of 2-3% per year in general. But again, it’s in the programs and areas where I have the opportunity to do it,” said said Holland.

Along with the facilities, students can expect improved technology in the center’s new computer labs, which will be housed in a single building.

“There was a time when if we plugged everything in at once and someone wanted to charge their phone, you would bring the whole building down,” Holland said.

He said the department has now moved beyond that and currently offers everything from high-end Macintoshes to animation and game art computers, but will see a substantial upgrade in the new building.

During the renovations, temporary staff and student teaching facilities will be made available at McCarthy Hall and Dan Black Hall.

William E. Bennett