Engaging sensibilities, stretching imaginations and offering critical reflection, the performing arts are fundamental to the rich, interdisciplinary education and social experience at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Theatre, dance and music provide students with a living laboratory for experimentation, interpretation and expression.
As the Colleges look to the future, a new Performing Arts Center is scheduled to be built that will enhance the academic and extracurricular activities that are at the heart of campus’ mission. The multi-disciplinary space – complete with state-of-the-art facilities – will combine dance, music, theatre and media studies under one roof.
Designed by acclaimed Massachusetts-based design and planning firm The Gund Partnership, the Performing Arts Center will be located on Pulteney Street across from the Warren Hunting Smith Library and the Scandling Campus Center. The plans for the 55,000-square-foot facility include a sweeping, open lobby linking five large, flexible performance and rehearsal spaces with adaptable seating and removable floor panels, creating a space that can be changed at will.
The facility will also include sound-dampening rehearsal spaces, recital halls and a studio theatre, as well as faculty offices and a film screening room. The building will be wired with the latest technology, providing facilities for students interested in lighting, sound or stage management.
The generosity of alumni, alumnae, parents and members of the HWS community has committed $24.5 million toward the $28 million project, the largest of its kind in the history of the Colleges.
“As we near the final goal of the Performing Arts Center, the generosity of our alums and the entire HWS community has been remarkable,” says Bob O’Connor, vice president for Advancement. “Needless to say, we anxiously await the groundbreaking ceremony. This new building and the energy it radiates will transform the campus by providing our students and faculty with important – and needed – academic space.”