Art and Dance Planning Committee
Planners recently started working on a vision for facilities designed to house the programs of the art and dance departments as part of the charge to the Framework Plan Task Force. An earlier planning effort identified a need to include a major facilities project for these departments in theFram! Fram! Forward St. Olaf capital campaign. While there had been many planning efforts in earlier years, the Regents of St. Olaf committed to including a project in the brick and mortar component of the largest campaign attempted by St. Olaf.
President Mark Edwards appointed a group, led by professor of art Jan Shoger, and charged them with developing the space program for a renovation of the St. Olaf Center, made available with the opening of a new campus center, the Buntrock Commons. Members included: Norm Watt, German; Eric Nelson, English; Janice Haws Roberts, dance; Irve Dell, art; Dan Dressen, music; Carolyn Jennings, music; and Pete Sandberg, facilities.
The committee and others worked through a comprehensive process that resulted in the decision to bring Hammel, Green, and Abrahamson, Minneapolis architects with a strong practice in facilities design for the fine arts, on board to work with the committee on project planning and design.
This team also worked on a comprehensive master plan for the entire faculty of fine arts as a sub-set of the Framework Plan, with art and dance facilities planned as the first pieces to be realized. The Framework Plan provides ways that a "village", or fine arts neighborhood, could evolve. This concept would ideally develop a critical mass of fine arts programs in close proximity with the hope that the energy developed would lead to collaborative work that had not been possible.