Colby College
Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts

Colby College breaks ground on an $85 million performing arts center

Sept. 24, 2021
The 74,000 square-foot Gordon Center for the Creative and Performing Arts will house the departments of theater, dance and music and the cinema studies program on the Waterville, Maine., campus.

Colby College in Waterville, Maine., has broken ground on an $85 million performing arts center. 

Gordon Center for the Creative and Performing Arts will be a 74,000 square-foot facility that will house the departments of theater, dance and music and the cinema studies program, reports News Center Maine

The center is expected to be the largest academic building on campus and in the school's history. 

The facility will have multipurpose performance areas and studios designed for teaching, performing, working, and creating. It will also house a dynamic performance hall as well as Colby’s first arts incubator to facilitate and nurture emerging art forms.

A performing hall will seat about 300. But with flexible size of staging, it will be able to accommodate larger audiences. Performance studios, each slightly different, will include a room that is acoustically well-tuned and has lots of glass and a view; a dark studio to include full lighting control and lighting rigging; and a dance space. The spaces will be interchangeable and flexible. 

The performance hall will not have a full proscenium, or arch, that separates the stage from the auditorium, but it will have wings for maximum flexibility. The performance hall was planned specifically for an audience of around 300 because the Waterville Opera House and Colby are part of the collaborative arts ecosystem that allows Colby to use the Opera House if more seating is needed.

The garden, or lower level of the building, will provide the primary access for parking to the rear of the center. The main level will have most of the performing venues and studios, and the upper level will have office suites, one performance venue and technical spaces.

The facility is expected to open in fall 2023. 

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