Published in Macalester Today
Construction wrapped up in early summer when campus was quiet. Bit by bit, Mac community members got their first glimpses of the renovated and expanded music building and arts commons. At Reunion, small groups of alumni snuck a peek at the new building. In July, music faculty members moved into their new offices, and by early August, Admissions tour guides were showing off the space to prospective students.
But it wasn’t until this fall—the first academic semester in the renovated space—that the campus community is seeing the full impact imagined back when architectural plans were drawn up. Students are auditioning for ensembles in spacious rehearsal rooms, viewing faculty art in the gallery, and meeting friends in the bright, open commons.
Mac students care about music and art: Each semester, in the music department alone, 500 students enroll in classes, take private lessons, or join an ensemble. This revived building provides the space to accommodate that demand—and to make the arts accessible to every student at Macalester.
With the first of three construction stages now complete, the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center is becoming a vibrant campus hub and gathering place for students, faculty, staff, and visitors:
- Expanded classrooms provide more space for students and faculty, plus the first-ever dedicated physical space for art history classes
- A new gallery showcases art exhibits
- The dramatic two-story Lowe Dayton Commons welcomes the community to the fine arts
- The Mairs Concert Hall provides state-of-the-art sound quality in a lovely, wood-filled space
- Amply sized rehearsal rooms allow music groups to practice while enjoying campus views
Macalester is committed to the arts, considering them an integral part of a liberal arts education. Thisrenovation and expansion—along with future projects in studio arts and theater—will dramatically enhance learning experiences and arts opportunities for members of the Class of 2013 and beyond.