Neil King and Rachel Nuner
Twitter: @neilk34neil Email: NeilK34@gmail.com
IU South Bend’s sculpture studio is being denied the option to renew their lease at their current location on Wayne Street.
According to Vice Chancellor for Administrative and Fiscal Affairs, Bill O’Donnell, the university is looking at it as a good thing.
As it is now the studio is two miles away from campus, surrounded by weedy lots, corroding buildings and has been leased by the school since 1966.
The new studio is on the south side of the river directly next to housing on the west side. The new location is the old smoke shop across Lincolnway from The Smoke Shop Mini Mart next to what was once The Landing.
IU South Bend already owned the building and was using it for storage.
“We’ve lost a storage space,” Director of Facilities Management Michael Prater said, “But we’ve gained what will be a better space for our students, and that’s what it’s all about.”
The new studio will have six main rooms in comparison with the old studio’s two and is 22 percent bigger that the Wayne Street Studio. In the new studio there will be a general-purpose room that is akin to a classic classroom, a room for sculpting, a wood shop, a welding/kiln area, a wax room and a silica room.
There will also be a changing room for models.
“In the old building everything was really happening in those two main rooms, all of these different kinds of dust were mixing, and it wasn’t very well ventilated. It wasn’t good for our students or faculty,” O’Donnell said. “In the new building everything will be separate and better ventilated and that’s going to make things a lot better.”
O’Donnell and Prater said that the studio will be open by the fall semester and probably sometime during either June or July everything will be moved over.
The school did renovate the building with new electrical work for kilns and welding stations, new flooring, and new walls to create the rooms.
O’Donnell estimated the costs of the renovations to be somewhere around $60,000 but the number isn’t solidified because there is still ongoing work. O’Donnell noted that not having to pay the lease on the Wayne Street studio will help the school save money in the long run.
The school is also considering building on to the sculpture studio into The Landing’s parking lot to possibly add a ceramics section.
The school doesn’t own The Landing but the IU Foundation purchased the building and is currently leasing it to the university.
According to an update given by IU South Bend’s Chancellor Terry Allison at a student government meeting, the university is exploring options about what to do with the building due to technical issues and a recent flood in the building that happened in January.
“We’re really excited to have these students on campus,” O’Donnell said. “Having them here also means having them safer and that’s a big thing as well. It’s a better situation.”