January 19, 2007
The University expects to find out in early February whether there is enough interest among potential donors to warrant a fund-raising effort to build a combined arts centre and twin ice facility on campus.
At its March 31 meeting, the University’s Board of Governors approved spending $100,000 in undesignated funds from the ongoing capital campaign on a feasibility study of the proposed project. Heather Magotiaux, vice-president of University Advancement, said the study will determine “how much we can reasonability expect to fundraise, and from where.”
Speaking for an informal committee that includes the deans of Kinesiology and Arts and Sciences, Magotiaux said Ketchum Canada, specialists in the philanthropic environment, were commissioned to assess donor interest in a facility that has been talked about for many years. “We need to have a sense of how much fundraising has to be done, and of what our goal amount can be,” she said.
Fluctuating construction costs make Magotiaux wary of putting a final price tag on either individual fine and performing arts and ice facilities, or a combined complex. Instead, she will wait for Ketchum’s report, expected in the second week in February, to see how much the University might expect to raise.
An aging ice arena and fine arts departments (music, drama and art and art history) in difficult spaces spread around campus are providing impetus for exploring the possibility of a new centre. As Magotiaux pointed out, the University does not offer oil painting courses because the art department space in the Murray Building does not have adequate ventilation.
The proposed location for the facility is the corner of College Drive and Cumberland Avenue.