Johns Hopkins Gazette: June 24, 1996

Trustees Select Site
For Homewood Arts

The long-planned student arts center for the Homewood campus became a little more tangible this month when the university's board of trustees selected for its construction a site next to the Merrick Barn on the east side of the campus.

The proposed 50,000-square-foot center will contain rehearsal and performing arts space, a dance studio, two art studios and a film and media center, as well as a cafe, meeting rooms and lounges. Although the university does not offer theater arts or art majors, it does offer related courses. And, it is expected that the space will facilitate "a closer connection with Peabody in terms of our curriculum and programs," dean of Homewood student affairs Larry Benedict told The Sun.

The construction will require cutting away some of the landscape that divides the campus from Charles Street, but university officials preferred that location because of its proximity to Charles Village and student dormitories.

"We see [the arts center] more as a resource for our students and, secondarily, for the community," Benedict told The Sun.

The arts center is one of two new buildings planned for Homewood. A 60,000-square-foot recreation centerfor non-varsity athletics will be built on top of the Space Telescope Science Institute garage next to the Bloomberg Center. The facility will include four basketball courts, a running track, weight and aerobics rooms and a large multipurpose space.

Benedict told The Sun that the construction timetable for both buildings will depend on the pace of fund raising, but officials are hopeful that groundbreaking for both centers will occur in the next two to three years.

Each center is expected to cost about $12 million. The university has included both buildings in the $900 million Hopkins Initiative launched two years ago. So far, Benedict told The Sun, donors have pledged $9 million for the arts center, $4 million of which is from board chairman Michael Bloomberg. Donors have committed $6 million for the recreation center.

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