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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Center for Arts, Culture and the Humanities to Open in Tabler Quad

    The building atop Tabler hill between Toscanini College andHand College has been closed for more than 20 years, but if administrators havetheir way it will reopen as a state-of-the art, multifunctional facility withina year.

    Tentatively dubbed ‘?Center for Arts, Culture and theHumanities,’ the approximately $3 million renovation project is designedto transform the two-story relic into the crown jewel of the new undergraduatecollege program.

    ‘?This [undergraduate college initiative] is the mostimportant change in undergraduate education at Stony Brook in itshistory,’ said Assistant Vice President for Campus Residences DallasBauman, Ph.D. ‘?The Provost [Robert McGrath, Ph.D.] made the decision togo ahead with two more colleges next fall’The money for this project willcome from interest earnings and borrowed funds.’

    Bauman’s department is scheduled to contribute $2.75million to the project, from the Dormitory Income Fund Reimbursable, astatewide account that supports residence halls. The rent that residents payto live on campus is deposited into the DIFR account and is used to meetoperating costs and to fund such projects. Bauman said that the renovationcosts would translate to essentially less than $10 per resident.

    The Faculty Student Association is being asked to contributethe remaining $250,000 because there will be a small food service component.Kevin Kelly, Executive Director of the FSA, said that he expects the decisionon this figure to be made within a month. Currently, final plans for theoverall renovation are being reviewed.

    The Media Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies Living LearningCenters will be moving into Tabler Quad to accompany the opening of the Center inthe old Tabler caf’eacute;.

    The building’s current loading dock will be removed,the ground surrounding it will be brought up to grade and the entire structure willbe reoriented so that its main doorway will face down onto Roth Quad and NorthLoop Road.

    The redesigned top level features a grand main entrance thatopens onto a lobby which doubles as a student art gallery. On either side ofthe lobby is space for a television and radio production studio, a digital artsfacility, a print media studio, a conference room, and a viewing room. At theend of the lobby opposite the entrance will be a 3,761 square-foot performancespace with seating for up to 250 people. Bathrooms on the main level willcontain full changing rooms to accommodate theatrical performances.

    The lower level is smaller, and will contain an art studio,a dining room and the building’s mechanical room. There are plans forminimal food service facilities similar to those in the administration building,likely consisting of a large soup-and-sandwich cart that will also sell coffeeand other beverages. Vending machines that accept meal points may also be setup in the large seating area that over looks the inner quad.

    After being told of the renovation plans, residents inTabler Quad were pleased.

    ‘?I think that it can create an even greater sense ofcommunity in Tabler and also bring more cultural programming to thequad,’ said third-year student Richard Chow. ‘?It will bringresidents together to watch student productions, which are educational and fun.I enjoy watching those shows in Staller and now that it will be closer I willdefinitely be going there all the time.’

    Construction of a small stage for nightly coffee houseperformances or open mic sessions is also being considered. The studentgovernment may be asked to contribute towards programming. .

    ‘?I’d like to see the food service develop in theevening where they have a coffee house and I’d like to set upprograms,’ Kelly said.

    It is still unclear in exactly what capacity students willbe allowed to use the facilities, but the early indications are that studentsclubs and organizations will not given office space. The electronic studiosand theater may instead be used for classes and signed out for use by students.

    Some students with media and theater backgrounds, however,question the benefits that will arise from individual students usingsophisticated studio equipment intended for large groups.

    ‘?I think that [the new facility] definitely offersopportunity as long as there is proper guidance for students to learn how touse the equipment,’ SBU-TV Production Manager Leo Borovskiy said.’?If that happens, it will be a good experience, but I do wonder howthey’ll supervise it and ensure that the students who use it will havethe proper training. Considering that SBU-TV doesn’t have a studio atall, we would definitely be able to use the space and it would be a great helpto us.’

    In spite of uncertainty about a few specific details, theidea of opening a Center for the Arts, Culture and the Humanities seems to bewell received.

    ‘?In terms of what we’re physically doing for theUndergraduate Colleges, this [renovation] will be the biggest project,’Deputy Provost Mark Aronoff, Ph.D., said.

    ‘?That building has been sitting there, and it’sreally exciting that we’re going to do something that will directlybenefit the students.’

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