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Revamped Sullivant Hall officially opens

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Dancers use ropes to perform choreographer Stephan Koplowitz's routine entitled, 'The Past is Up' at the Sullivant Hall Grand Opening celebration Sept. 20 at Sullivant Hall. Credit: Ogonna Ononye / Lantern photographer

Dancers use ropes to perform choreographer Stephan Koplowitz’s routine entitled, ‘The Past is Up’ at the Sullivant Hall Grand Opening celebration Sept. 20 at Sullivant Hall.
Credit: Ogonna Ononye / Lantern photographer

The Ohio State community was invited to celebrate in the newly renovated Sullivant Hall on Saturday.

“What started as a construction project to provide an appropriate new home for our neighbor, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library Museum, has resulted in a remarkable transformation of Sullivant Hall,” said Mark Shanda, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities.

After a $31.5 million renovation that lasted over three years, said Richard Hall, associate executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Sullivant Hall — located at 1813 N. High St. — is now officially open for business.

Sullivant Hall is also now home to four different art departments: OSU’s Department of Dance, the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design, the Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise and the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy.

The grand opening recognized Lawrence and Isabel Barnett, alumni of OSU, as longtime supporters of the university and an essential part of the building’s renovation.

“This gift — staggering at $6 million in this phase but actually is part of more than $13 million given by the family — has really changed our institution and has allowed us to move forward,” said OSU president Dr. Michael Drake before a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Through a combination of donors, like the Barnett family and university funds, Sullivant Hall has created an “atmosphere for art,” Drake said.

Some students and faculty agree with Drake, and “collaborative” seemed to be a repetitive theme throughout the day.

Clayton Funk, a senior lecturer in the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy, said he enjoys the building because “you can see all the departments at once.”

Jennifer Richardson, an associate professor in the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy, agreed with her co-worker and said the building gives a “collaborative perspective.”

And the grand opening was nothing less than a collaborative operation.

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Department of Dance had performances beginning at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., which led guests to 11 different spots in the building. Visitors were also invited to three open houses in the remaining departments from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and were greeted with not only knowledgeable faculty, but also food and drink.

After touring the building, some students were impressed by the architecture done by Acock Associates Architects, a Columbus architecture firm who is also responsible for the design of the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library.

“I really like it, it’s a nice space. The rooms have nice big windows,” said first-year international studies major Arona Mostov.

Fourth-year student and dance major, Matt Bowman — who was also a dancer in Saturday’s performances — said he is enjoying his new academic home.

“Now that everyone’s together, it feels like a much more cohesive collaborative department,” Bowman said.

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