According to Northern State University President James Smith, the Johnson Fine Arts Center (JFAC) will be finished and prepared for faculty occupants by July of 2016, as scheduled. The project’s previous architect was let go as concerns mounted regarding the renovation’s time constraints. The new architect has guaranteed that the building will be finished by July of next year.
“The west walls are going up now, and the footer is in for the new black box theatre,” President Smith said during a recent interview. “The art gallery is also currently in progress, as well as a driveway that will connect the Johnson Fine Arts Center’s parking lot with the Barnett Center’s parking lot.” The acoustics of JFAC’s theatre will also receive a modernized update, and four additional general purpose classrooms, expected to seat between 20 and 40 students each, will be installed during the construction. Attendees to JFAC’s various programs will, after work has been completed, be able to visually select their seats using a digital monitor at JFAC’s new ticket booth. The black box theatre will be able to accommodate around 125 people. There will also be a permanent glass display featured in the center. “I wish it could be done tomorrow!” President Smith said, “We aren’t yet sure what it will be, but there will be a big kick-off performance once it opens.”