July 23, 2020 – Last August, Santa Fe College began a full renovation of the Building E Auditorium. The facility, built in 1975, had served as the center of the college’s artistic and community activities until the opening of the Fine Arts Hall in 2011. Being one of the original buildings on Northwest Campus, and only having minor updates over its 44-year history, it was due for an upgrade.
The renovation was almost completed when the COVID-19 global pandemic shut down on-site operations at the college. However, after following special protocol, workers were able to complete the renovation earlier this spring.
“This newly renovated facility gives us the opportunity to further support the arts and our students in the Fine Arts programs,” said SF President Paul Broadie II, Ph.D. “The infusion of arts, culture and knowledge will permeate the space and entertain, educate and enlighten those that enter. I am excited and I look forward to the time when we can see performances from our talented students in the Lyceum.”
Now known as The Lyceum, a name bestowed by former president Jackson N. Sasser, it was designed to be a smaller, more intimate version of the Fine Arts Hall. It would allow for additional space for students in SF’s Fine Arts programs, as well as address the growing demand within the community for cultural spaces.
“The college’s music classes – instrumental and vocal – will happen in this space,” said Alora Haynes, Chair of SF’s Fine Arts programs. “Music Students will come and go from the space and practice, without the former concern of noise interference with other academic activities on campus. The Music Department could not be happier to have this house to call their own. It was built to have the same acoustic quality that the Fine Arts Hall has and it has a permanently affixed acoustic wall that will support all concert activity.”
Although the pandemic is still wreaking havoc with the scheduling of events, the Lyceum could see activity in the form of college classes. Because of occupancy restrictions in classrooms across the college, SF officials have worked to convert many large areas on the Northwest Campus into classroom spaces. The Lyceum’s 236 seats make it a potentially viable option for the college to hold in-person classes in the hall while still allowing the practice of physical distancing.