By Blake Carter
Staff reporter

While the renovations of Richardson Auditorium are still underway, construction will begin in June for a new theatre technical center.   

The tech center will be in the Dixon Center. Dick Merriman, president, said the plan is to move plant operations into a new brand new building.

“The plan is to erect a new facilities maintenance building out on the far eastern edge of the campus, along Viking Boulevard.  That building will go up this summer,” said Merriman. “That will allow us to convert the current maintenance building. The plan is to build a sizable addition onto the current Dixon Center to create space for a set design and construction area.”

Merriman said that a theatre program should have the best tools of the trade.

 “The college has a very good theatre program, but it has been making do with teaching facilities that aren’t adequate.  The new Richardson Performing Arts Center will provide a great new space for teaching students about how to stage a production.  And the technical theatre building will give our theatre program an adequate place to plan for and prepare for productions,” Merriman said. “We tend to focus first on actors when we think of theatre, but costumes, sets, lighting, special effects, and music are key parts of a successful production.”

The new center will one of the largest theatre technical buildings in the region. The building will include a costume shop, a props shop, classrooms, paint shop, and storage rooms.

 Allyson Moon, associate professor of theatre, looks forward to have everything centralized, after many years of having multiple buildings for storage and props.

“It will be great to have everything under one roof,” she said. “We have so many buildings like the costumes houses and the props house and little things stored all around campus. It will be so wonderful just to know where everything will be, since it will all be in the same place in the new center.”

Roger Moon, associate professor of theatre, thought it was time for a change.

“The theatre world has changed so much in the last 50 years technically,” he said. “By building this center, the students will be able to get training with new equipment and the new styles of the trade. But also, it is a great new learning tool about how to adapt to the changes of theatre and get real experience by doing it hands on more than they were able to before.”

Blake Carter is a senior majoring in communication. You may e-mail him at

Edited by Lea Shores.