Many students will have to adjust this coming year to a Cornell without Bailey Hall, a popular venue for concerts and lectures, as well as the home to Psychology 101.
Bailey Hall, with a 2,000 person capacity, is currently undergoing extensive renovations to improve its heating, air conditioning, lighting, acoustics, electricity, ventilation and exterior.
Plans also call to reduce its seating “by several hundred for comfort and accessibility reasons,” according to the Cornell Chronicle.
“Bailey Hall is one of our older buildings, constructed in 1912, and it’s in need of a long-awaited, comprehensive renovation,” Henrik N. Dullea ’61, former vice president for University relations, told The Sun when the project got underway.
The $13.1 million project is receiving $10.6 million from the state of New York, officially presented by George E. Pataki during his visit in 2000.
“The project is currently being publicly bid by State University Construction Fund. Bids are due July 29 and a two year construction period is anticipated,” according to Gregg Travis, director of contract colleges facilities.
In its absence, many student groups are finding other venues to host their activities.
“The biggest problem we have for the next year and a half is that we have all these great events to fund but no where to put them,” said Matthew Nagowski ’05, a member of CUTonight, an organization that funds concerts, lectures and cultural nights.
The Cornell Concert Commission, responsible for bringing popular music groups to campus, plans to depend more strongly on Barton Hall, which holds 5,000 people.
The commission will be more inclined, therefore, to hold larger shows, according to Kristen Massaro ’04, the organization’s executive director. It will also look to see if Bartels Hall or the Statler might have usable space to offer, according to Massaro.
The Cornell Programming Board is looking to these venues as well for their lectures and other events, while the Cornell Concert Series plans to move its musical and dance performances to the State Theatre, located adjacent to the Commons in downtown Ithaca.
Psychology 101, taught by Prof. James Maas, will move to Statler Auditorium for the next two years, reducing its enrollment from an estimated 1600 to an estimated 700 students.
Students expressed support for the University’s decision to undergo the renovation.
“I think that [the construction] would be worth it to make certain improvements with Bailey Hall, although I don’t think they should totally modernize it; its pretty nice the way it is now,” said Christian Coerds ’05.
Though students generally felt the lack of performance space in Bailey Hall would not be too great of an inconvenience, many did feel that it will make an impact on daily life at Cornell.
“Although I only visited Bailey Hall once last year, I was impressed with its facilities. I think it will be missed by the Cornell community for its ability to bring lectures and musical guests to our university,” said Jamil Lawrence ’06.
“The atmosphere won’t be the same,” Hai-Ching Yang ’06 said. “Psych 101 would not be Psych 101 without Bailey Hall