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36 / Winter 2012 / RECORD
P
reparations are well under way for our
new Fine and Performing Arts Centre,
with construction on the $30-million
structure to begin this spring. When com-
pleted, the new Centre will provide a striking
Allisonian presence at the northwest corner
of the campus core. This new facility will
energize the University community and our
fine and performing arts programs by pro-
viding students, faculty, and the community
with dynamic teaching, research, creative,
performance, and viewing spaces. The build-
ing will feature a modern 100-seat theatre and
backstage facilities, along with art studios,
workshops, and office and seminar spaces, as
well as a bright and airy public common area.
When construction begins, you will be able
to watch its development from strategically-
placed web cams. Keep your eye out for a
notice on when this will be available.
Enormous anticipation surrounds this
project. The Fine and Performing Arts
Centre is our first new academic building
built since the Crabtree Building in 1979.
It is an exciting project and investment for our
continued academic success and the integrated,
immersive experience that is the distinctive
cornerstone of Mount A. Fine Arts and drama
have long had a substantial role in defining the
Mount Allison experience. Indeed, 40 per cent
of students from outside of these disciplines
take a course in these areas. Moreover, hun-
dreds participate directly in the many annual
student theatre productions or view produc-
tions and art shows, exploring and discovering
new dimensions of theirselves in the process.
While the excitement and potential has been
palpable on campus, I recognize that not every-
one has agreed with the specific direction that
we have taken.
In particular, we acknowledge the genuine
concern expressed by parts of our community
that we did not renovate and re-use the former
University Centre (and the former Memo-
rial Library) as the core of the new building. I
appreciate this disappointment, as well as the
passion that you have for your
alma mater.
But I urge you to maintain your interest in
and connection to the University, as we work
to maintain and improve the high quality of
our programs and facilities for our present and
future students in a sustainable way.
Our decision regarding the former Univer-
sity Centre was not taken lightly; it was made
after extensive review and deep discussion. This
same serious consideration informs the design
of the new building -- a new centre that will
inspire future generations of creative activity
and campus integration.
The Fine and Performing Arts Centre will
open in the fall of 2014 -- 175 years after
Mount Allison's founding. I would invite all
Allisonians to celebrate what this passionate,
concerned, strong-minded community has
achieved since 1839.
Robert M. Campbell
President and Vice-Chancellor
Mount Allison University
Revitalizing the aRts