Renovations For A More Innovative Campus / Kienna Van Dellen
A renovation of the old Clinton Junior High School property on East Campus will be taking place this fall and spring, and the Art Department plans to occupy the renovated space.
This new complex will hold the studio arts, everything from ceramics and painting to photography. Anything typically done in an art studio will now be housed in the new complex.
This relocation of the studio arts is providing a long-awaited and much-needed space to grow. The Art Department hopes to expand the variety of programs it can offer. Currently, the limited space also brings a limit to what the department can offer. With larger studio spaces the department hopes to expand the education of the arts at MC.
“We know that we will have a very large space that will be used as a kiln court and sculpture hot work area that will allow us to use all of the kilns that we are currently using and the additional ones that we have in storage and will allow our sculpture classes to use different mediums than are currently offered,” said Nate Jarnagin, the Administrative Assistant for the Department of Art.
Construction will take approximately a year to complete. The major goal is to have it finished and relocated by fall 2022. The new auditorium in the building will hold about 150 people; this space will be utilized for both university and community events. The community will have access to rent the space as a venue or host concerts, political events, and speakers. It would be available to the public if they choose to rent it.
The new facility will be named the Gore Arts Complex. This art complex will be a tribute to the late Dr. Samuel Gore. He graced his home of Clinton with sculptures, paintings, and teachings to carry on for generations with his career lasting over 60 years. The light of Christ continues to shine through his legacy in his dedication and love for the arts. He had an undeniable gift of bringing stories to life through his artwork so others might see Christ more clearly. Through the construction of this new complex, his teaching will be able to be expanded so more students can learn how to pursue art with the same passion and faith that Dr. Gore once had.
As construction begins, MC will be releasing more information on renovations. Right now, the campus is awaiting details on funding for the project before releasing further details to the public.
More renovations have been happening all summer around campus, and MC is preparing for the upcoming semester by creating a more modern look with quality functioning spaces.
The B.C. Rogers Student Center gathering place for students throughout the day-to-day life of the campus is undergoing some new changes. Last year the cafeteria was remodeled inside to give it a more modern appearance and efficient design plan. Now, new redesigns are currently taking place outside on the cafeteria patio. There will be a new main entrance to the cafeteria that will open onto a large patio serving as an outdoor dining space. The patio space will stretch all the way across the front of the building. The outdoor space is going to be a covered patio with a weather filtering canopy over the patio. However, because of the delays in the manufacturing of steel, the canopy will not be installed until fall or Thanksgiving break.
The new patio will be accompanied by new furniture and eventually bistro lighting to provide a more welcoming space. The round stone tables that are currently there will be moved to the new East Campus facility to be used as outdoor seating.
The Aven Little Theater has also undergone some changes. This small theater was located in the center of the Communication Department in the basement of the Aven Fine Arts Building. It has been completely made over into a classroom to serve as a more functional space. And what used to be the backstage of the theater is now a new hallway to create more access across the department.
Alumni Hall also had a makeover last year with the Commons and a new welcome center becoming a central part of MC. The third floor of Alumni Hall is now being transformed from a former Student Government Association office to new admissions offices in order to turn Alumni Hall into a central welcome center for MC. Eventually, SGA will be moved to the third floor of Nelson Hall. The bottom floor of Nelson Hall will then become a new student success center with Career Services, Residence Life, Student Life, and Financial Aid all easily accessible.
MC has also recently broken ground on a new indoor golf facility. The construction of this building is being made possible by a generous donation from John McMath, a former golf coach and professor here at MC. It will be named the John and Charlotte McMath Golf Facility. This facility will be near the MC soccer fields.
The Latimer House located across from the president’s house will be starting some renovations in a few weeks in order to make way for the offices for the new Foundation staff. This staff aids with fundraising for the university. The remodel is estimated to take about eight months.
While some of these renovations had been pushed back due to COVID-19, many of them were just waiting on the right funding to start them. “Dr. Thompson has wanted to make these changes since he first got here, and it was just a matter of pulling the funding together to accomplish those things,” said Laura Jackson, the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for MC.
These new changes seem like a fresh start for the Clinton campus, building on the past and creating space for new improvements for the future.