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Rockefeller building project passes one-year mark on schedule
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rockefeller building project passes one-year mark on schedule

On July 23, campus administrators and some long-time generous donors to the Friends of Rockefeller Arts Center had a chance to take a hard hat tour of the construction site for the new wing. Pictured (left to right) are Carol Prevet, professor emeritus of dance; Ralph Blasting, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts; Jim and Marcia Merrins; President Virginia Horvath; Maureen Webb; and Jefferson Westwood, director of Rockefeller Arts Center.

The $39 million Rockefeller Arts Center addition and renovation project has passed the one-year mark and remains on schedule for completion by August of 2016.

Project Shepherd Steve Rees said “diligent efforts” by many parties have kept the project on schedule. This includes general contractor Northland Associates and its subcontractors, Campus Construction Management (an outside firm which provides project oversight for the SUNY Construction Fund) and the campus office of Facilities Planning. Mr. Rees said the fact the project is on schedule is “especially notable” given the difficult winter construction season in which workers dealt with extremely cold conditions.

The project will be completed in phases. The first floor of the addition, which features spaces for sculpture, ceramics and scenery painting, is expected to be ready by mid-December. Primary access to the Marvel Theatre lobby and the new multipurpose room should also be complete at this time.

Rees said once these first floor spaces are occupied, renovation will begin on the existing second floor of Rockefeller to create computer labs, drawing and animation studios and faculty offices for the departments of Visual Arts and New Media, and Theatre and Dance.

The second floor of the addition, which will be used by dance and acting students, is scheduled for completion by March or April of 2016. The Fredonia Dance Ensemble is scheduled to present its annual concert in the new second floor dance studio in April.

Planning for the $39 million project began in late 2009 and it went to bid in December 2013. Northland Associates, Inc. of Liverpool, N.Y., was selected as the general contractor for the overall project. The groundbreaking took place in May of 2014.

According to Northland Associates, a typical day on the project will see from 65 to 75 workers from various trades on the site.

When completed, the project will bring nearly all programs in the Department of Visual Arts and New Media and the Department of Theatre and Dance under one roof. Approximately 40,000 square-feet of teaching space and faculty offices will be gained through the two-story addition and the renovation of existing spaces.

The addition and renovation have been designed by Deborah Berke Partners of New York City. Persons wishing to learn more about the project should visit Rockefeller’s website at where there are links to the project home page and the project shepherd’s blog.

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