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  September 30, 2002

Architects' Competition Planned for Fine Arts
By Allison Thompson

The newest building in the School of Fine Arts' complex will be designed by a leading architect who will be selected through a competition funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The NEA has awarded the School of Fine Arts the $75,000 grant to hold a competition to select an architectural design for the next addition to the School of Fine Arts complex.

Twenty top designers will be invited to submit their proposals for the new building. From the 20 entrants, jurors will select six finalists, who will create designs and models. The finalists' works, which will be designed according to the architectural standards of the University, will be displayed at the William Benton Museum of Art in an exhibition titled "New Visions for UConn." The finalists will also be invited to take part in a lecture series.

"A design competition for a new building will provide a unique and wonderful opportunity for us to continue to expand our artistic visions and aspirations and will allow the State of Connecticut to have a state-of-the-art arts facility. It will also enhance the possibilities of the design and will foster the development of an artistic facility of national significance," says David G. Woods, dean of the School of Fine Arts. "It is anticipated that the building will be one of the most unique, innovative and functional arts facilities in the region."

Reed Kroloff, editor-in-chief of Architecture Magazine will serve as competition advisor.

The chosen design will be built with funds from the $1.3 billion allocated for 21st Century UConn program, which begins in 2004-2005.

The School of Fine Arts encompasses programs in art and art history, dramatic arts and music with primary emphasis on professional preparation of students for careers in the arts.

The school also includes the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, the William Benton Museum of Art and the Ballard Institute of Puppetry. Currently, the School of Fine Arts' various divisions and areas are housed in nearly 20 buildings on campus. The planned project will permit the school to bring all of its academic programs together in one complex.

The new building will be located on the southeast corner of the Storrs campus, making it the first major building greeting campus visitors.

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