The College of the Redwoods on Thursday broke ground on a new creative arts building on campus that is expected to be completed by July 2023.
The new 29,888-square-foot facility will replace the old creative arts building, which was constructed in 1974 and will be dismantled once the new building is complete. The project will cost $28 million and is funded entirely by the state through Proposition 51. Its construction was largely necessitated by the fault line the current creative arts building sits on.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to honor our faculty and our administration, and the fact that we are going to do a great service to our students by having a state-of-the-art creative arts building in one year. A year and a half from now, we will invite you back for the grand opening of a brand new building,” CR president Keith Flamer said.
The new building is planned to be a more modern, energy-efficient building than the existing creative arts building. It includes radiant heat flooring, irrigation using a rainwater catchment system, solar hot water heating, and an outdoor performing arts stage.
The building is also in a more central location that is more easily accessible and its proximity to the performing arts center will allow it to serve as a spill-out zone after performances.
“We’ll have state-of-the-art equipment, and so our faculty will have upgraded technology to take advantage of what’s going on with education now. But also the fact that our gallery will be more modern, so the whole building will be easier for us to access. We’ll be able to move the center of the campus. This way, our students won’t have to trek from one end to campus to the other just to access their classroom,” Flamer said.
One updated aspect of the new building will be the photography lab, which has been changed to accommodate the digital age and new video capabilities, according to Phil Newsom, the president of tBP/Architecture, the firm which designed the building.
“Arts are an important program on this campus, and this building’s location on the campus, will give it a higher visibility and hopefully get more students interested in the arts, because of where it is,” Newsom said.