By Benjamin Engle
On the day following Commencement, construction will begin on the college’s newest building, the Henle Dance Pavilion. This $3 million, over 3,200 square-foot building will be an addition to the Yulman Theater.
The pavilion, which will feature large windows overlooking Jackson’s Garden, will house a multi-use lobby, dance studio, costume shop, offices, meeting rooms, storage space and a gallery.
The 1,000 square foot lobby will provide the college with additional space for rehearsals, receptions and yoga classes. According to The Business Review, it will replace the current 1,200 square foot dance studio in the Visual Arts building and will be designed by Sacco McKinney Architects and constructed by U.W. Marx.
Sacco McKinney Architects designed the renovations of College Park Hall, Breazzano Fitness Center and Butterfield Hall, while U.W. Marx recently worked on the Lippman Hall renovation and the Viniar Athletic Center.
On saturday, the college broke ground on the new facility, which should be completed for use during the spring 2013 term. At the ceremony, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Mark Walsh ‘76 and David Henle ‘75 joined President Stephen Ainlay in the ceremonies.
Henle, a Union Trustee since 2004, and his wife, Joan, provided the main gift for the construction of the Dance Pavilion.
“I wasn’t the most cultured student when I was here,” joked Henle, adding that it was his wife who first introduced him to culture.
His interest in ballet led him to fall in love with opera and the arts in general.
“It is thrilling what is happening at Union with the arts,” Henle, the head of DLH Capital, said.
In describing the location and plans of the new pavilion, President Ainlay provided a brief history of the importance of the site, stating that students, in the new building, will be “studying in one of the most historic places on campus.”
Ainlay described the future building as a “stunning space” that will contain “some of the most remarkable views.”
The construction of the Henle Dance Pavilion will create a new quad currently bounded by Visual Arts, Taylor Music Center and Yulman Theater.
Since arts did not come to Union until the 1960s, Ainlay believes the new building will complete the College’s vision for a campus arts complex, the new construction will be a “center to the arts at Union that it never has had.”
The Theater and Dance Programs at Union were combined in fall 2006, making the new Dance Pavilion a logical addition to Yulman Theater, which was constructed in 1994 and named for Morton ‘36 and Helen Yulman.
According to Dance Director Miryam Moutillet, both programs have the similar needs: a theater, costumes, lighting design and scenic designer, all of which will finally be housed in the same complex.
The Henle Dance Pavilion will provide the dance program with larger and improved facilities for over 150 students who participate in the program each term.
“I am most excited about having a space that will answer needs adequately,” Moutillet said. “It is going to be wonderful, more students will want to take dance classes.”
“The arts are a critical part of a liberal arts education,” Henle added. “I am thrilled to be a part of the momentum of the school at this time.”