Enochs Ready For Use

Published 8:00 pm Thursday, November 1, 2012

A patchwork of overlapping renovation and construction projects continues at the Mississippi School of the Arts campus, but one building set to significantly upgrade the school’s drama department is near the finish line.

     Renovation of Enochs Hall on campus has reached substantial completion, said MSA Executive Director Suzanne Hirsch. There’s still some work to be done to the building, but the school has begun moving into the building and preparing it for use.

     “There’s some minor exterior work that still needs to be done,” Hirsch said.

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     A portion of the third floor remains also blocked off because renovation hasn’t begun in that area yet.

     The first floor gallery space is ready for artwork, and the black box theater on the second floor of the hall will be used for the fall drama production and the dance showcase, both scheduled for later this year.

     The drama students are eagerly anticipating the addition of a black box theater to the campus, Hirsch said. The new theater will allow the ability to use stage lighting not possible in Lampton Auditorium, where drama productions currently take place.

     In addition to art gallery space and storage for art, classrooms, and the black box theater, there’s also a workshop on the second floor for set and prop construction. Home Depot has agreed to supply the remaining equipment needed for the workshop, Hirsch said.

     Though some of the building will start to see activity this fall, classrooms in the building won’t be put into use until January.

     Enochs will also be featured during the school’s open house for prospective students on Saturday, which usually draws 90 to 100 students and their families, Hirsch said.

     There will be a formal ceremony celebrating the opening of Enochs Hall in March, Hirsch said.

     With Enochs Hall nearing completion, Hirsch has plenty of other projects to keep her busy.

     Renovation work meant to address leaking at the student dormitory tower is still moving forward, though slower than initially hoped. The western wall of the tower remains a noticeably bright green color and will probably stay that way for several more months until steel panels arrive and are placed over the wall.

     Hirsch has revised her expectations for that project and hopes to see it completed by next July.

     She also hopes to see the interior renovations of Elizabeth Cottage begin in January. That’s a project the MSA Foundation will spearhead, Hirsch said.

     The Elizabeth Cottage renovations have to be complete by December of 2013, because that’s the deadline imposed by grant funds.

     Most of the exterior renovations have been completed except for a few minor points, which will be completed with the interior renovations.

     The upstairs space will be a living quarters area for guest artists and the downstairs of the cottage will be used for classroom space.