Despite the COVID-19 pandemic impacting many parts of day-to-day operations, several renovation projects were able to be completed at the Holden Fine and Applied Arts Center (HFAC). These projects including updating gallery spaces, expanding and updated classrooms and improving overall access.

One of the largest projects was renovating a highly visible space on the second floor adjacent to the main entrance into a project gallery. To create the gallery, three storage and administrative spaces were renovated. The new space includes a see-through glass display case to showcase artwork.

In a statement, Anne Dugan, senior lecture of visual arts, said, “The new project gallery allows us to send a message to visitors that this is a building for art – right as they walk through the doors.”

This new gallery space replaced a third floor location, which was converted into a large, reconfigurable classroom. These kinds of classroom are few and far between in HFAC, which has previously been limited to smaller-capacity classrooms.

In addition to a renovation of the old gallery space, three previously underutilized spaces were converted into a larger, configurable art education classroom with a SMARTBoard and space that emulates the educational facilities that students will work in after graduation.

The previous media lab was moved to a larger location that features more work stations and active learning capabilities. The space also includes windows to the main hallway to showcase student work.

Additional projects included the building’s only sloped classroom. The old projection room was removed to accommodate handicap-accessible seating, two rows of seating were removed to provide a center aisle, and walls were removed at the front of the classroom to provide a more open instructional space.

The theater green room was remodeled and reconfigured into two adjacent spaces that will better serve students during performances. The new layout allows for separate spaces for quick costume changes and provides amenities including a new makeup counter. The updated green room also includes a kitchen area, allowing additional efficiency.

“The faculty and staff of the Communicating Arts Department are particularly excited about the renovations to the media lab and the backstage area known as the Green Room,” said Brent Notbohm, chair of the communicating arts department, in a statement.