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Construction set to begin on Scott Studios

Designs are complete for Elon's new performing arts facility at the Francis Center.

Scott Studios at the Gerald L. Francis Center will feature a Black Box Theater and a 3,200-square-foot rehearsal/dance studio.

Construction will begin soon on Scott Studios, a new performance, recital and rehearsal facility for the Department of Performing Arts in the Gerald L. Francis Center on East Haggard Avenue. The new facility is being built with funding from a lead gift by Elon parents Don and Ellen Scott of Denver. The project is scheduled for completion in October.

Scott Studios floor plan

Architect designs for the project feature green "living walls" of vegetation for the exterior of the former warehouse facility. An entrance stairway and theatrical feature, such as a spotlight, will attract audiences to performances at Scott Studios.

The nearly 14,000-square-foot facility will include a black box theatre with flexible seating for 160. An 18-foot-high ceiling and control room will allow for theatrical lighting grids. Scott Studios will also include a 3,200-square-foot rehearsal/dance studio that is the same size as Elon's main stage in McCrary Theatre, providing expanded rehearsal space for Elon's busy annual schedule of theatre productions.

The facility will also include six practice rooms, a workshop, dressing rooms and a box office. Throughout the building, there will be extensive soundproofing to allow for multiple activities to be going on simultaneously. Generous and convenient parking at the Francis Center will be a great asset for audiences attending performances.

Don and Ellen Scott are the parents of Teddy Scott ’10, an alumnus of Elon’s nationally acclaimed music theatre program. “Elon Performing Arts is a treasure to the university," Don Scott said. "We hope the new Scott Studios will expand future opportunities for student and faculty creativity.”

Don Scott (center) with Fred Rubeck, chair of the Department of Performing Arts, and President Leo M. Lambert.

Scott Studios will complement the performing arts department home in Elon's Center for the Arts, which includes McCrary Theatre, Yeager Recital Hall, the Black Box Theatre, and dance and rehearsal studios. Currently, students and faculty must use the heavily-scheduled McCrary Theatre and Yeager Recital Hall for both rehearsals and live performances. Those venues also regularly host major campus events throughout the academic year, limiting the time performing arts students have access to the facilities.

"Scott Studios will be a phenomenal facility," said Fred Rubeck, chair of the Department of Performing Arts. "This new space will provide greater flexibility and increase our effectiveness in training young artists. The black box theater is nearly double the size of our current black box facility and will allow us to perform a greater variety of productions. The new rehearsal hall will do wonders for us on a daily basis, allowing us to accurately prepare for main stage productions with a space that is identical to McCrary Theatre's stage. It's going to transform our program in many ways."

Dan Anderson,
5/3/2013 10:10 AM