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UW-Eau Claire news release

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Media Memo: 'A Celebration of Achievements' events set for Monday, April 23

April 19, 2012

TO: News/Assignment Editors and Directors

FROM: Judy Berthiaume

DATE: April 19, 2012

SUBJECT: 'A Celebration of Achievements' events set for Monday, April 23

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host events Monday, April 23, to celebrate the rededication of a historic venue on campus that was recently renovated.

Monday's "Celebration of Achievements" events will begin at 12:30 p.m. with the rededication of Schofield Auditorium. Students, faculty, staff, administrators and others will gather in the historic venue for a ribbon-cutting and rededication of the recently refurbished space. Planned performances by students and staff include Fifth Element, Chris Jorgenson and Audacious. The event is free and open to the public.

The celebration will continue at 7:30 p.m. Monday with Jazz Ensemble I giving its spring concert in Schofield Auditorium. The concert will feature faculty artists Nobu Yasuda, Mitra Sadeghpour and Doug O'Conner. The award-winning college big band, directed by Robert Baca, will perform the Midwest's premiere of "Black, Brown and Beige." This is Duke Ellington's largest work, a jazz narrative of the African-American Pilgrimage. UW-Eau Claire students will be provided free tickets compliments of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

Schofield Auditorium project overview

Schofield Auditorium was refurbished to better accommodate public events serving the campus, student organizations and the greater Eau Claire community. Renovation of the auditorium, which resides in Schofield Hall — the only National Historic Building on campus — began in May 2011.

Schofield Auditorium is the largest fixed-seating venue on campus, with a seating capacity of 660. It's the setting for major presentations such as the Artists Series, The Forum, orientation welcomes and lectures. It hosts about 135 student-sponsored events per year, accounting for 98 percent of its use.

The renovation, which cost about $1 million, was funded through a partnership that includes the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, Student Senate, University Centers/Event Services, and state and university facilities improvement funds. Updates include new seating, sound improvements, theater lighting, central room control, a video wall projection system, and other aesthetic and facility improvements, including improved handicap accessibility. Electrical improvements were required to make the updates.

The space originally was designed for Vaudeville-style presentations. It was renovated into a theater in the 1940s, but the project was halted when the state discontinued funding for the arts. It was completed in the 1960s as a lecture auditorium. The seating, ceiling, curtains, projection screen, and lighting and fixtures had dated back to those eras.

Due to facility inadequacies, student groups had to spend about $1,275 per event on production expenses, which total more than $17,000 per year. The financial burden on students was revealed in 2009 when students were asked to prioritize the needs they saw for facilities improvements on campus.

The renovated space will be available to all student groups. Student organizations will not be required to pay room or equipment fees to use the auditorium.

Members of the media are welcome to attend the rededication event as well as the evening performance.

A farewell reception for outgoing Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich also is planned as part of Monday's "A Celebration of Achievements" events. Members of the news media wishing to cover that event can contact Debra Lang at 715-836-5607 or langda@uwec.edu for details about the time and location.

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.