Dance program to move to Music and Speech Center

Kiera Manion-Fischer

Patrick Kennedy, senior general studies major, and Brian Yost, senior electronic media production major, work in Studio A located in the Music and Speech Center. Renovations planned for 2008 could transform the space into a dance studio. ABIGAIL S. FISHER

Credit: DKS Editors

By 2010, the theater and dance programs will be brought together under one roof.

Some people in the Teleproductions department, however, are concerned part of their space in the Music and Speech Center will be taken.

Teleproductions, which is a service under Libraries and Media Services, does video production work for academic departments in the university and outside clients.

The dance facilities are currently located in the Gym Annex, and the theater facilities are in the Music and Speech Center.

John Crawford, associate dean of the College of the Arts, said the pre-design phase has just been completed for plans to renovate and make additions to the Music and Speech Center to accommodate the dance program.

The renovations will be possible because of a $6.5 million donation – the largest gift from a single donor in Kent State’s history – from arts patron Roe Green. The state matched the donation with $5.5 million.

Mark Pike, assistant dean of Libraries and Media Services, said nothing has been decided. However, because of budgetary concerns, one possibility being discussed is turning Teleproductions’ Studio A into a dance studio.

Studio A is where most of the video production work is done.

“Is it the best for the entire university to lose Studio A?” Pike asked. “We need to consider that in making a final decision.”

Craig Turpin, senior electronic media management major, said Studio A is mostly staffed by students.

“They’re going to lose the wealth of knowledge and experience that it offers,” he said about the possible loss of the studio.

Thomas Euclide, director of the Office of the University Architect, said converting the Teleproductions space into a dance studio is only one option. It still needs to be determined whether it is an economic solution. Other options include not building a lecture hall and not expanding the music library into a performing arts library.

Some of the planned additions and renovations to Music and Speech include a 200-seat “black box” theater for experimental productions, an expanded lobby area, renovated acting studios, theater design and tech classrooms and additional dance studios.

Crawford described the pre-design phase as “very extensive and very tedious” because it involved evaluating existing space and figuring out what is available and what is needed.

He said the plans should be complete by the start of fall semester. Groundbreaking for the building addition is scheduled for the end of spring.

Contact principal reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at [email protected].