The announcement that renovations will begin on Michigan State University’s Fairchild Theatre
was music to the ears of students, staff and audiences of The College of Music. The project was first estimated in June 2009 and designs began in June 2011. At long last, the $18 million project will start this month and will continue through August of 2012.
“The College of Music has had a long-standing need for an additional and acoustically appropriate venue to accommodate its numerous rehearsals, performances, classes and musical productions,” says University Engineer with the MSU Physical Plant Division
, Bob Nestle.
The renovations to the Fairchild Theatre will include installation of an orchestra pit with a lift system, an orchestra shell with acoustical upgrades, relocation of the scene shop dressing room and prop storage room, renovation of existing restrooms, construction of additional restrooms, barrier-free access to various areas of the theater and the installation of elevator.
“Upgrades to Fairchild Theatre would allow the College of Music to accommodate opera, chamber orchestra, choral ensembles, jazz bands, faculty and guest recitals, and other musical productions,” says Nestle, “many of which are currently performed in inappropriately sized or off-campus facilities.”
The 560-seat Fairchild Theatre is located within the MSU Auditorium at the intersection of Farm Lane and Auditorium Road. Nestle explains that while the current theater provides an adequately sized facility, its effectiveness as a music venue is limited due to the lack of an orchestra pit and proper acoustics.