New fine arts center set for H-SC

Published 11:30 am Friday, February 12, 2016

Hampden-Sydney College ceremonially hammered the first nail in the renovation of Winston Hall — renaming it Brinkley Hall — the soon-to-be home of the Joe Viar and Bonnie Christ Fine Arts Center.

“The arts have grown quite a bit around here in the past few years,” said M. Peebles Harrison ‘89, chairman of the college’s board of trustees. “The classes have become more popular, but the facilities have continued to not be the best.”

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He said an arts task force was formed in March 2011 by a group of alumni and faculty to consider prospects for a new arts center at the college.

“The Carpenter Foundation made an early commitment to the project,” Harrison said. “The funds made it possible for the conceptual drawings of the teaching and learning spaces.”

According to a January 2012 press release from the college, H-SC was awarded a $1 million grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation to help create a fine arts center.

The estimated cost of the renovation project is approximately $4 million, according to the college.
Winston Hall also will be renamed as Brinkley Hall in honor of John L. Brinkley ‘59.

Interim President Dr. Dennis Stevens said the ceremony for the arts center was an exciting first step.

“The large setter room will be transformed into a common room to host musical recitals and art performances and exhibitions,” Stevens said. “New and improved classroom spaces will take shape and be outfitted for teaching and learning.”

He said the arts are gaining importance at the college, which is exciting to the faculty, staff and students.

Renovations are scheduled to begin in May with a targeted completion of January 2017.