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McAninch Arts Center Renovations Begin this Fall


The McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage will undergo major renovations beginning this fall that will update the major performance spaces, address significant infrastructure needs and improve several academic program areas.

The 25-year-old center houses three performance spaces, a gallery and classrooms for such academic programs as Theater, Music, Art, Photography, Motion Picture/Television and Graphic Design. More than 1.5 million people have seen live performances at the MAC since it opened in 1986.

“The McAninch Arts Center is a vibrant facility on campus,” said Aleisha Jaeger, senior project manager at College of DuPage. “The renovations are needed to maintain the quality of the programming and will enhance the center’s exuberant atmosphere.”

The front entrance will include a new canopy and replacement of the existing tinted glass panels with clear and fritted panels that will result in a visual consistency with the other buildings on campus. Inside the main doors, the Ticket Office will be relocated to a more visible location, eliminating cramped queuing lines for patrons while opening up the center’s entrance. In addition, a new concession and bar area in the lobby will provide a visual connection with the Waterleaf fine-dining restaurant in COD’s Culinary & Hospitality Center, located next door to the MAC.

Inside the 800-seat Mainstage, work includes replacement of all seats and wall treatments, installation of a new HVAC system, and improving the acoustics to reduce exterior noise for an enhanced performance experience. Entrances to both Theatre 2 and the Studio Theater also will be transformed to give each a strong identity.

In terms of academic program areas, renovations will be made to studio spaces for drawing, painting and printmaking as well as the graphic design studios. New ceiling paint and flooring will upgrade dated MPTV and photography spaces. In addition, all public corridors will be brightened to encourage collaborative gathering and critique spaces.

Other major infrastructure changes include a new roof, upgrades and integration to building automation systems, and replacement of the skylight systems.

“The McAninch Arts Center has always been a community jewel,” said Stephen Cummins, director of Performing Arts. “Once the renovations are completed, this facility will be a showplace for many years to come.”

Work is scheduled to start this fall and will be completed in February 2014. The project will cost $35 million and is funded by the $168 million referendum that voters of District 502 passed in November 2010. Other projects beginning this year include the renovation of the Physical Education Center, Student Resource Center and Seaton Computing Center, and construction of the Campus Maintenance Center.

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