Students frustrated with new Dance and Theater Building

Students frustrated with new Dance and Theater Building

Students frustrated with new Dance and Theater Building
October 11
07:31 2013

Javier Navarro / Staff Writer

The temporary Dance and Theater Building had to close and cancel classes on Wednesday due to mosquito spraying, but that’s not the only issue that’s bugging some students.

This was the second time in the last few days the building had to close for spraying when mosquitos were found throughout the building. Several dance students said they faced various other issues with the building, such as slippery floors in the dance room, water leaking through the roof and fluctuating temperatures.

“Our department is growing like crazy and this is not the time for [UNT] to be screwing us over,” dance senior Allie Costello said. “They’re not paying attention to us.”

The structural issues have made dancing in the rooms difficult, and the slippery floors even caused one dancer to injure her foot, according to dance students.

Costello said the recent cancellations of class have complicated things even more. She said dancers in a piece she is choreographing have a showing next week. With the building closed, one group was forced to hold a rehearsal in the choreographer’s apartment parking lot.

Not having a proper room to rehearse and spend class time in has made preparing for the show more difficult, Costello said, and losing class time is wasting money.

“It’s $40 a class thrown into the trash,” Costello said.

Dance senior Erin Whyte said they were told the building would be finished before school started and the new dance studio would be either the same or better than the one they had in Stovall Hall. When classes started, she said they didn’t have access to the dance room.

“We didn’t start dancing in classes until the second week of school,” Whyte said. “Every class has been interrupted by [construction workers] bringing in mirrors and other things. Construction is going on in and out of the building.”

Donald Lynch, Director of System Facilities Administration, said a construction project usually takes about 12 to 18 months to complete. With this building being tied to the new union project, they only had the summer to complete it in order for it to be open when this school year starts, which is why the building has some problems.

“We just had a really compressed schedule,” Lynch said. “The building is sound. Yes, there are issues, but there were issues when we opened the [Business Leadership Building], there were issues when we opened the new stadium. There’re always going to be issues when you open up a new building.”

The university opened several new temporary buildings this fall, including two complexes on Welch Street and a temporary food pavilion next to Sage Hall, as a part of the new union construction.

Lynch also said that he wants students to know that they are working on the problems as fast as they can, and their voices are being heard.

“We are on top of it,” he said. “Their issues are being heard and being addressed. They’re not being ignored. We are moving forward as fast as we can to put in the right things in place.”

Dance professor Teresa Cooper said she is grateful for the new building and can live with some of the problems, but also said she would at least like to see solutions to some problems soon, such as getting motorized window shades and better mirrors for the dance rooms.

“We have very high windows and have some shades, but we have to manually open and close them,” Cooper said. “The only way to do that would be to get a huge ladder, climb up to every one, and pull down the shade. And with the mirrors, right now, it’s not as helpful because each break morphs the image. So sometimes when we look into the mirror, it almost looks like a fun house mirror.”

Lynch said the issues going on in the Dance and Theater Building should be fixed within the next three weeks.

The temporary dance and theatre complex is located on Mulberry St. Feature photo by Aidan Barrett / Senior Staff Photographer

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