California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    New Art Building to Campus

    California Lutheran University’s Board of Regents gathered  on Feb. 21 for a meeting where the board unanimously approved $300,000 to fund the design work of a new fine arts building for the Thousand Oaks campus.

    William Rolland made a $4 million donation to help fund the new art department facility which will be called The William Rolland Art Center.

    Cal Lutheran President Chris Kimball said the estimated cost is $8 million and Rolland’s donation will cover half. Cal Lutheran and other donors will cover the remaining $4 million needed to fund the project.

    According to a press release from Cal Lutheran, once the initial planning is completed the board will need to approve construction for the 25,000-to 30,000-square-foot project. The plan is to build the new facility next to the William Rolland Stadium and Gallery of Fine Art.

    “The key is to have a building that will be able to serve the entire art department,” Kimball said.

    The William Rolland Art Center will bring drawing and painting studios, printmaking, ceramics, faculty offices and a possible mac lab all under one roof.

    Art Professor Michael Pearce said he is excited for the new art building because the current building conditions for the art department are terrible.

    “Oh my goodness, there is such a desperate need for the new building. All the art department stuff in buildings have been rotting away for 70 or 80 years almost,” Pearce said.

    The F building on campus is where the art department currently teaches studio painting, drawing, sculpting and photography. However this facility was previously used as chicken coops 80 years ago when the university was farmland.

    Art courses are additionally  held in the K building, a converted aircraft carrier. The K building also used to be the home of the old fitness center.

    Alexandria Ruggles, the president of the Associated Student of California Lutheran University Government, was a student representative at Saturday’s board meeting.

    Ruggles said she was thrilled that the art students were receiving a new building.

    “I am not even an art major and I took a class in the ceramics building and the ceiling was crusted, the walls were cracked and the floors were cracked. We have the new Swenson Center and the new science initiative. I think this is something that the art department deserves and definitely  needs on campus,” Ruggles said.

    Current students, staff and surrounding community of Cal Lutheran will benefit from a new space designated as an area for students to cultivate art.

    “There is a distinct need for art in the world and art provides a huge economic boost for any area that supports it. We have quite a lot of support from the local community and they’re going to feel Ventura County still is a hub for making art in the United States,” Pearce said.

    Pearce is confident the creative process of students apart of Cal Lutheran’s campus community will benefit from The William Rolland Art Center.

    “I think it will change the way students of Cal Lu feel making art. It’s going to feel like they are really a part of a vibrant community of art making,” Pearce said.

    Livia Bowman, a sophomore art major is pleased with the art department’s strong academic foundation accented with first-class faculty. Bowman said she feels as though the new fine arts building will be beneficial to the department’s growth.

    “We already have a really great art program at Cal Lutheran. We have good professors and classes for art here. If we had a new building then it would raise awareness that this school really supports the arts, so it would bring in more students,” Bowman said.

    The framework of the future William Rolland Art Center is beginning to be set. For the next step, Cal Lutheran must obtain a building permit for the new facility. This process can be anywhere from six months to a year.

    Kimball said construction itself may take an additional year, however he said he hopes to have the William Rolland Art Center ready by the fall of 2016.

    Brooke Straeter
    Staff Writer
    Published March 4th, 2015