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Letter from Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Fredeen on the Fine Arts addition

02/05/2020

Dear Rider Community,

I’m pleased to share with you the most recent conceptual renderings for the proposed three-story addition to the Fine Arts building.

The 23,000-square-foot addition will create new practice and rehearsal spaces, faculty offices, teaching spaces, dressing rooms and more. The Facilities Working Group has done an outstanding job in creating these plans to benefit all Rider students while paying particular attention to the needs of those coming from the Princeton campus.

Most prominently, the project envisions a soaring 2,400-square-foot multipurpose space on the top floor that is prominently visible on the addition’s northwest corner. Similar to the new space in Gill Chapel, it will create a flexible space able to accommodate rehearsals and performances for many programs, including choral ensembles, theatre, musical theatre and dance. In addition to the existing Yvonne Theater and Spitz Theater, the new multipurpose room will be the third performance space in Fine Arts alone.

The ground floor of the proposed addition includes new dressing rooms with private bathrooms and multi-purpose teaching spaces that will accommodate acting, opera and other performance needs. Forty offices, each large enough to accommodate an upright or grand piano and with sound attenuation, will be constructed on the second and third floors for music faculty who will be temporarily situated in Omega House for the 2020-21 academic year. Sixteen new practice rooms will be located in the addition.

As part of this project, the existing Fine Arts building will also receive welcome renovations. A new main entrance, featuring a new facade, a new lobby and the relocated Art Gallery, will welcome the campus and public community into the building. All existing classrooms will be upgraded with new lighting, ceilings, flooring, paint and furniture. On the ground floor, all bathrooms and common areas will be upgraded and refurbished. Existing spaces will be renovated to become multi-purpose music classrooms and to house the bell choir.

On the second floor, a dynamic new communications wing will be created. With the relocation of existing faculty offices and the dean’s suite, the entire floor will be dedicated to editing and production studios and labs for journalism, digital media and television. Rider’s student-run radio station, 107.7 The Bronc, will also be moved to this location.

Work will start this spring, and we expect the Fine Arts expansion project to be completed by fall 2021. When the project is complete, the total number of practice rooms available to students will reach 53 by fall 2021. That number exceeds the current number of practice rooms on the Princeton campus and will accommodate all students taking music courses in the College of the Arts.

This project represents a major investment in the Westminster College of the Arts and our commitment to ensuring a strong and sustainable future for Westminster Choir College on the Lawrenceville campus. I’m confident this project is going to support our students in their efforts to reach the highest levels of musical and artistic achievement and contribute to their overall educational experience.

Sincerely,

DonnaJean Fredeen, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs