Fine arts department almost finished with renovation

Bob Rickerson is displaying a model he built that demonstrates how the addition of colorful banners will help brighten the art gallery’s corridor. (Joseph Espiritu/Lariat Staff)

Joseph Espiritu

The fine arts department, which underwent a major renovation in spring 2008, is still awaiting finishing touches.

Upgrades to the complex’s infrastructure included plumbing, electrical, lighting, and improved drainage according to Nina Welch, fine arts public information officer.

Main changes involved enhanced pathways around the compound and patron-based additions inside the theater.

“All walkways were resurfaced to make them safer for pedestrians.  New parking spaces were installed and the entrance to the complex was graded to allow better disabled access,” Welch said.  “A fully equipped concession area was also installed in the McKinney Theatre.”

“The concession area is new,” said Kate Realista, director of performing arts and operations.  “Brand new freezers, ice machine, coffee makers, etc. Plus roll-up doors outside and inside the lobby.”

New restrooms were also constructed featuring touch-less plumbing-fixtures, and Gaucho-colored tiles.

The building exteriors, which are currently bare, will be painted according to John Ozurovich, director of facilities and maintenance.

“It’s almost rainy season,” Ozurovich said.  “We’ll probably wait until spring before we paint.”

Among the planned changes include a new entrance to the theatre circle, and a “plaza project” which will feature similar walkways at both the fine arts and science and math departments.  Other improvements include colorful banners to compliment the art gallery.

“I am going to install colored banners on the corridor in front of the art gallery,” said Bob Rickerson, art curator.  “The banners should help guide people towards the front entrance as the gallery does not have a direct access from the parking lot.”

Future construction plans are too preliminary to reveal at this time according to Dixie Bullock, acting dean of fine arts.