By Michael Wafford
Senior Staff Writer
California State University, Bakersfield broke ground for its new Art Center on Saturday April 27 at its Celebrate CSUB event.
The $19 million f
acility will serve as a classroom center and studio space for art students at CSUB. The center will be stocked with equipment for the arts such as sculpting, ceramic work, digital media and drawing.
While the total cost of the project is $19 million the cost of the Art Center portion of the project is $7.8 million. The additional $11.2 millions comes from the cost of installing a new sewer line to Ming Avenue and an expansion to the central plant, location of water storage tanks and cooling na dheating elements. The total amount of space the Art Center and Central Plant expansion will be 15,000 square feet.
“The CSUB Fine Art Center is long overdue. This simply gives the art department what it has always deserved: adequate studio facilities for the work they do in training the next generation of artists,” said Richard Collins, dean of the schools of arts and humanities at CSUB in a press release.
“Now they [students] will have facilities built to each purpose, with dedicated studios,” said Collins.
Ann Dandy, a senior art and psychology major, said she feels that the new center is good for the campus.
“I think it’s great. [The art department] definitely needs more space,” said Dandy.
However, while she is excited for the Art Center coming to CSUB too late for her. Dandy is transferring to another university to finish her bachelor’s degree because CSUB’s current art facility isn’t “up to date.”
The new facility will be completely modern. While the old facility is smaller than the Art Center that will be opening on campus, Tyler Ledwell, a junior art major, feels the current facility is “OK”
Ledwell said he’s “excited” about the new Art Center though.
While he thinks the current facility is fine, Ledwell said, “there’s not a lot of space to get loose with your work. It’s important for expression to have space and privacy to get loose. Some artists like to work in privacy.”
The project will be built by the Rudolph and Sletten Construction from Irvine.
The existing art facilities will be kept and used as a space for media such as painting, film photography and print making. The existing arts lab will also serve as classrooms for courses such as art appreciation once the new Art Center is built according to Colleen Dillaway, director of public affairs at CSUB.
Part of the Art Center is expected to be open in fall 2014 for student use.