2 February 1998


Apologies for the delay in the re-start of our newsletter! Needless to say, a lot has happened in the past 6 weeks. We still remain optimistic that the major move into Music and Art spaces will happen over Spring break. It's going to be one major effort! We will have a Dance Concert in Roberts in mid-April and we will have a Theatre production of Dark of the Moon in the new Flanagan Studio Theatre in late April/early May.


The Theatre areas are nearest to completion, several areas being very close indeed. The scene shop is almost completely set up, major tools in place, etc. A massive effort by a number of students over break, headed by Erik Sanning, resulted in a huge portion of supplies and equipment being moved over from Vosburg's storage and getting set up in all the Theatre areas.

Between 15 December and 3 January the floor workers faced a formidable task. The concrete of the shop floor was uneven and had to be ground down some before the final surface was laid, sealed, and made ready for the move-in. They made it -- more or less -- give or take a day or two.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the shop was the scale of the new dust collection unit!! A bit bigger than anyone had anticipated. The pneumatic air system is in place and working. The elevator is useable for freight but not passengers as yet. Window trim is still needed, as are a few doors and floor edging. Phone and computer systems are not quite up and running. The sink in the paint area is working! Erik is anxious to move into his new office!


Since the Hallie Flanagan name will be assigned to the new Studio Theatre it seems only right that we begin using the proper name for that space!

This area too is close to completion. The major hold-up now is the blue finish panels on the walls. The first run was rejected because the stain was inconsistent. Additional test panels were sent from the manufacturer but these, too, were unsatisfactory. The concrete floor area requires some grinding and leveling (do we see a pattern here regarding concrete floors???) before the final wood surface is installed. The floors should be ready in a couple of weeks. Most of the work now involves electrical matters, pulling the miles of wire, connecting dimmer and sound systems, etc. The tension wire grid panels were installed, although they include additional cross-bracing which was not originally specified and must be removed. Stair wells and booth areas are all base painted and the tile is being installed on the steps. The pit area below the stage is packed with storage items for the time being.


The window frames along the lobby wall were installed, and await only the glazing. Everything is base painted. This floor also requires some grinding/leveling(!!) which began last week. The wood dance floor installation will follow immediately. While the raw room is looking more and more ready, there still is a lot to be done. Ceiling panels must be hung, all the dance mirrors must be attached, doors, and window trim are yet to appear, and it all needs to be finish painted.


The basement of Roberts is perhaps one of the more complete areas, next to the scene shop. Some of the doors can actually boast hardware! The dressing and make-up rooms are coming along nicely, with cabinets and dressing areas almost finished. The costume shop is getting set up and the storage area is close to done. As of last Friday the green room refrigerator and microwave were both installed!!

The Theatre took a bit of a hit over break! Some steel beams installed over the stage had to be moved. Unfortunately, their removal left some holes in the roof and, coupled with some warmer than usual weather, created something of a drainage problem. Something like 2 inches of water ended up on the stage and in the basement. The curved catwalk (what used to be the "cloud") needs serious re-working. We hope that will commence this week. However, Meisner is quickly moving ahead with conduit installation along the side walls, the dimmer room area in the cross-over is framed, and the loading dock leveler is in place.


Most of the final concrete pillars are in place in the Theatre lobby. The ceiling is rocked and taped, awaiting only final painting. For the time being, this area will remain in this state. We'll keep the northern-most door to the lobby accessible from outside for student access to the Theatre and shop areas for classes.


A number of the north lobby concrete pillars are now in. The north window wall frame for the Gallery has also been installed. Although covered in plastic, one can begin to get an idea of the view that will be available into that room from the north courtyard. Fireproofing is almost finished and ceiling support wires are in place. Glazing has been installed in the overhead light monitors.

The basement has taken shape in a big way. All the rooms are now sheet rocked so the definition of the entire space is now quite clear. Work continues on the elevator and it should be compete in a week or so.


The concrete floor of the lobby is complete up to the west wall edge of the Recital hall. All the rooms are fully roofed, dried out, fireproofed and in process toward completion, all except Recital by Spring break.

The most dramatic development here is the addition of the forward ante-rooms to each of the Music spaces, and the beginning of the brick work. The face of the Recital Hall is almost completely bricked in; we begin to get a good feel for the impact this texture and color will have on the completed lobby. The entries to each of the rooms have independent skylights, also now in place.

The interiors of Ethno, Early, and Rehearsal are fully framed. Sheet rock installation will commence shortly.

In recital, the scaffolding is still up, filling the entire interior. Most of the work here has been taking place above the scaffold level, out of sight. This effort has included fireproofing, some plumbing and electrical, steel framing for the lighting, ceiling and overhead panels, and beginning of sheet rock installation.


All of the studio areas are completely framed out, door frames are installed, and some sheet rock has begun, mostly in the basement Sculpture and Ceramics areas.

The important news is that the difficulty with the slab alignment has been resolved and work continues on the exterior. The east wall is finished; the west wall is rather far along; stone base and some brick work has begun along the western most segment.

Perhaps the most exciting event to occur in the last few weeks was the arrival of the new gas kiln -- all 7,000 pounds of it!! Getting it off the truck and onto rollers was quite a feat. It will live temporarily at the south end of the gallery until the elevator is completed and we can move it into its permanent home.


Not much has happened in the east end of Fine Arts. The farthest east window bay has been removed and the opening cut in the east wall brick of the existing building. We now have a much better notion of how the lobby area will work connecting from the existing Fine Arts lobby into the new space.

The framing for the box office and coat room should begin shortly. The two toilets are being made ready for tile installation.

Paul Nelson Jonathan ChenetteGrinnell College Music DepartmentGrinnell College Library PageGrinnell College Main Page

created by Paul Nelson, Thursday, November 19, 1997
last modified, Monday, June 22, 1998 3:55 PM