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New dance building approved for North Campus

At the Board of Regents meeting on May 17, a proposal to build a new facility for the Department of Dance at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance was approved. The new building will be constructed adjacent to the Brehm Pavilion at the Earl V. Moore Building. It will be approximately 24,000 gross square feet and will include a 100-seat performance venue, dance studios, locker rooms, and administrative space.

The estimated cost of the project is $19M, with funding provided through SMTD gifts, resources, and investment proceeds. The Bloomfield Hills architectural firm of TMP Architecture Inc. will design the project, which is expected to provide an average of 27 on-site construction jobs. Design is scheduled to begin immediately and the Regents will be provided with a construction schedule when schematic design approval is sought.

A new dance building that meets the caliber of the dance program, and serves the high demand of dance classes for U-M students outside the dance major, is SMTD’s most urgent facility need. The current Dance Building, located on Central Campus, was built as an addition to the Central Campus Recreation Building (CCRB) in 1977, replacing the demolished Barbour Gymnasium, where dance had been headquartered since the program was founded in 1909. The dance program has fully outgrown the CCRB facility and a nearby building, located on Geddes Avenue, has been providing faculty and graduate student offices.

The proposed new building will provide much-needed rehearsal and performance space and will bring all dance faculty and students together in one location. It will also provide a 21st century teaching environment, complete with technology that has become standard in the teaching and choreographing of dance, such as  computers, video cameras, and monitors. In addition, in joining the other creative disciplines on North Campus, the new building will foster more innovation and collaborations with music, theatre, the visual arts, architecture, and engineering.

More information about the new Dance Building will be shared as it becomes available. For  information about donating to the project, contact Paul Harkins at 734.764-4453 or harkinsp@umich.edu.