Future closure of Baldwin Auditorium presents challenges

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Baldwin Auditorium will be closed for the 2016-17 school year as a result of renovations to Baldwin Hall. Campus organizations and departments that use the venue will be forced to find somewhere new to house their events.

The renovations to Baldwin Hall include updating of the heating and fire safety systems and are scheduled to begin during summer 2016, carrying on throughout the following academic school year. Classes and office space currently in the building will be relocated to other locations on campus.

A variety of campus organizations use the auditorium to hold events throughout the year, from The Society of Dance Arts dance recitals to Student Activities Board speakers to the Truman State band concerts.

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Truman’s largest theater space, Baldwin Auditorium, will be closed for the 2016-2017 school year.

Randy Bame, the Baldwin Theater Lecturer and Auditorium Manager, says finding a location for all these events will be a challenge.

“We’re exploring our options,” Bame says. “Of course our options are very limited. There are other spaces on campus but those are used considerably.”

Bame says he is working with organizations that use Baldwin Auditorium frequently to find a suitable substitute.

Kayla Loper, Program Advisor for Campus Activities, says she believes students will learn to work with the changes that the renovation will bring about. Loper says more than half of the events currently being planned by the SAB will use the auditorium to host their events.

“I think that you’ll see SAB get a lot more creative with what they do over the next year because they’re just going to have to,” Loper says.

She says there is no place in Kirksville with the same audience capacity and equipment that Baldwin Auditorium can offer, but she says she is already planning on alternative venues.

Loper says bringing in smaller names will attract smaller crowds, which would allow events to fit into other buildings on campus like  the Student Union Building. Although the Pershings gymnasium is also an option, Loper says bringing in the set-up and equipment to convert the space is very expensive and can’t be done often.

The auditorium itself, having already received a touch-up in recent years, will not be part of the renovation process.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4Kp8VgJF4A”][/vc_column][/vc_row]