Enterprise State Community College awarded the bid on the Forester Hall renovation project on Monday, March 25.
Bullard-Cook, Inc. out of Montgomery was awarded the bid for $1.3 million, according to ESCC Dean of Student Services Olivier Charles.
“Our faculty is excited because they have a quality space to teach and a state-of-the-art space to teach,” Charles said. “Our students will have a state-of-the-art space to learn in and our community will have a state-of-the-art fine arts building that they can visit or peruse right here in Coffee County.”
The renovations will see a complete overhaul of the building, separating it into three different areas: music, theater and art.
The art portion of the renovations will include turning the lobby of the building into a gallery for visual arts students.
“Our art will be able to have art shows—right there—within their building that the public can view,” Charles said. “Also, the community can also have shows there as well. We want to open that building up to the community and allow them to use the spaces if they need to.”
New furniture will also be brought in to the lobby for students to use to hang out and relax or study between classes.
“A lot of our fine arts students actually sit and hang out in that building between classes so we’re going to add the proper furniture so that they can sit and study and be able to plug their devices in right there and prepare for the next class,” Charles said.
Another renovation under the art section of the building will be a darkroom for photography students, according to Charles.
He said as far as the renovations for the music side, the choral rehearsal room will be repainted and soundproofed.
The theater section of the building will see a brand new black box theater for the students to use as a classroom and for performances.
“There will be opportunities for students to build props, there will be one-man or one-woman shows, there will be small recitals, there will be small plays and all of those will happen within the black box theater,” Charles said.
He said the theater will hold 85-100 seats and will also be open to the community to use for shows.
The ESCC Foundation gifted the institution $350,000 to build the black box theater and will be named after the ESCC Foundation.
Other renovations will include new bathrooms and an office suit for all the faculty with a break room.
Charles said that the renovations are slated to start in late April or early May after spring classes are over but before finals are taken. Construction is expected to take 90 days and he said that ESCC hopes to have the faculty and staff moved back in by early-mid August before fall classes start.
The building is currently slated to be opened and used at the start of fall classes.
“We believe that a successful fine arts program not only enhances opportunities for our students, but it also provides a means to connect our community with the college,” ESCC President Matt Rodgers said. “We are fortunate to have excellent support from our community for this important program. We want ESCC to be known as the ‘Center for Fine Arts in the Wiregrass.’”