Macalester Completes $20.5M Studio Art Phase of JWFAC Expansion and Renovation

David J. Turner photo

St. Paul, Minn. – Macalester College has completed construction on a comprehensive renovation and expansion of the Studio Art building, part of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center.  Construction began in January 2013 and was completed in January 2014.

The new renovation and expansion includes more space and studios that are much more accommodating, allowing Studio Art faculty members and students to work together under the same roof for the first time in many years.

The official Studio Art opening and dedication is March 7, 2014. 

“The new Studio Art space is purposeful and practical, with enough room for sculpture, drawing, printmaking, and 2D design,” said President Brian Rosenberg.  “Along with the Music building and recently completed Art Commons, Macalester has built quality art facilities for our students, faculty, staff and community to use and enjoy.  I also want to thank our generous donors who saw us through to the end.”


  • Flexible spaces and studios will accommodate increased student demand. Senior art majors will benefit from a spacious studio space to support their capstone projects, and all studio art faculty and students will work together under the same roof for the first time in many years.
  • Studio space on the first floor is devoted to ceramics and 3D sculpture, featuring separate spaces for wood, metal, and welding.
  • The second floor houses drawing, painting, and printmaking studios for students in advanced courses, plus three faculty studios.
  • Construction added half of a new third floor to the building, which creates additional space for painting and drawing.
  • The third floor also includes a 2D design suite, reflecting state-of-the-art resources that make the space the most technologically advanced on campus.

The first phase of the comprehensive renovation and expansion of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center included the Music building, a fully renovated Concert Hall, added and improved rehearsal and performance space, and a new Arts Commons in the central core of the building, housing art history classrooms and an art gallery.

The studio art’s renovation and expansion cost $20.5 million.  The college raised $7.5 million through fundraising and used college funds and debt for the remaining $13 million.

HGA Architects and Engineers (HGA) of Minneapolis was the architect and McGough Construction of St. Paul was the contractor. 

HGA is an integrated architecture, engineering and planning firm that helps prepare its clients for the future. By understanding their cultural and business needs, HGA helps clients realize their organization’s vision and potential through responsive, innovative and sustainable design.

McGough has a rich history dating from mid-19th century Ireland.  The family immigrated to America in the late 1800s, bringing with them a long-standing practice of quality and craftsmanship. Today, McGough enjoys an unparalleled reputation for delivering complex projects, on budget and on time, while maintaining their tradition of quality and craftsmanship.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,011 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at

January 7 2014

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