AU holds groundbreaking for York Performance Hall and Galleries

Thu, 2011-05-05 15:53 -- univcomm
May 5, 2011

Anderson University held the groundbreaking for the York Performance Hall and Galleries on Thursday, May 5. The approximately 24,000 square-foot facility, with an estimated cost of approximately $4 million, will adjoin the existing Krannert Fine Arts Building, bringing together classrooms, rehearsal rooms, and the new performance venue. The performance hall project will be designed to be a flexible performance space for many ensembles, solo student performances, and guest artists visiting Anderson University.

perfhallDr. Jeffrey Wright, Dean of the College of the Arts, acknowledged at the groundbreaking how grateful he was for the time and resources put into this project. Wright is looking forward to showcasing the work of faculty, students and guest artists for years to come. He thanked the individuals who “grasp our vision on this project at this time.” He added that the arts are at the core of the liberal arts education at AU and a “way to express for all that is left unsaid in all other academics.”

[Left to right: Dr. David Markle, Senior Pastor of Park Place Church of God; Mike Montgomery, KRM; Robert Coffman, Vice President for Advancement; Dr. Jeffrey Wright, Dean of the College of the Arts; Twyla and Phil Harp, sister-in-law and brother of Dr. Elizabeth York; Dr. James L. Edwards, President of Anderson University; and Lou Gerig, Chair, AU Board of Trustees]

The new facility will support a permanent gallery space for the renown Warner Sallman art collection at Anderson University as well as an additional gallery space for a valuable wood art collection donated by Dr. James and Dr. Elizabeth York that includes works of leading artists, including pieces created by internationally-renowned wood artist Binh Pho. Anderson University maintains a special website dedicated to Warner Sallman’s work – www.warnersallman.org.

The York Performance Hall and Galleries project will feature orchestra space for 45 musicians, a choir loft for 75 voices, and an advanced acoustical design. The main floor of the facility will accommodate approximately 250 seats while the balcony space will support approximately 75 seats. A large lobby with glass walls will provide natural light and wide views of campus — providing an ideal setting for greeting guests and hosting receptions.

“We are so grateful for the commitment and support of the York family,” said Bob Coffman, vice president for advancement at Anderson University. “This new facility will provide a world-class environment in which our students and faculty will perform. Through their generosity, Dr. James and Dr. Elizabeth York are making a significant difference in the lives our students.”

Dr. James and Dr. Elizabeth York have given of their time and resources to make a difference in people’s lives. Their giving spirit was what convinced the couple that Dr. James York should retire early from his practice of orthopedic surgery so that they could work in mission hospitals throughout Africa. It also prompted them to contribute to the Harry L. and Henrietta Harp Endowed Memorial Fund at Anderson University. And it is one of the primary reasons they created the James M. York, M.D., and Elizabeth H. York Endowed Scholarship Fund through the Anderson University School of Theology. The Yorks also provided resources for the York Seminary Village project at AU and the York Children’s Book Collection within the Nicholson Library.

The architectural firm of KRM in Anderson is designing the project. Contractors managing the 18-month construction of the facility — targeted to begin in early summer 2011 — will be announced at a later date pending a further review and evaluation of project costs and projected gift income by the Executive Committee of the AU board of trustees.

Lou Gerig, AU board of trustees chair, expressed his gratitude at the groundbreaking to the faculty who will make this place more than a building but a learning experience for those aspiring careers in music, performance or art.

President Edwards acknowledged this project as “one more reason for students to come to AU for a world class education. Imagine the future that will unfold from here,” added Edwards.

Anderson University alumni and friends can help support a seat at the performance hall by making a gift online or sending a gift by mail. View photos from this event. Visit the York Performance Hall and Galleries website for more information.

— Stefanie Leiter is the Web Content Manager in the Office of University Communications at Anderson University.

The Dreams. Discovery. Direction. campaign is designed to raise support for endowment and scholarships, facilities and equipment, academic and student programs, and operational needs. Major components of the campaign include resources for capital projects, endowment, and operational support. The campaign will conclude Dec. 31, 2011. The last major campaign effort for Anderson University, with a goal of $75 million, ended in 1999 and raised $83.7 million.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.