Financial situation precludes needed Curtis Pool renovation
Bowdoin currently has plans to build a 350 seat concert
hall along with music practice rooms in the Curtis Pool building. At the
moment, however, the school does not have sufficient funds to begin the
"It's one of the things that we've been trying to pin
down for the last two years but we're just not there yet," said Vice
President for Planning and Development William Torrey. Financial aid and
faculty support are several areas that still have priority over the renovation.
The College currently lacks a space designed specifically
for musical performance. Plans to put additional space for music in Pickard
Theater fell through when there was only room for theater and dance. And
when the Pickard renovations went $8 million over-budget, development
was forced to shelve the plans for Curtis Pool.
"There's no question that it would greatly enhance
our music department and the students who come here for music," said
Mr. Torrey, adding, "The faculty desperately needs the additional
Alumni donations would provide the bulk of the $8 to $9
million, plus a $2 million increase to the endowment, needed for the renovations
with foundation gifts a possibility. "We have some interested people
but we're still not sure," said Torrey. "A specific type of
person wants to help with something like this."
The Curtis Pool renovation comes at the tail end of $150
million worth of renovations over the last eight years. Aside from Pickard
theater, since 1993 the school has, among other projects, built the Druckenmiller
science building, renovated Searles and the Hawthorne-Longfellow library,
and has built several dormitories.
Once the money is raised, it will take 18 to 24 months to
complete the project. The architectural firm of William Rawn and Associates
has designed some preliminary plans, which, according to Mr. Torrey, "the
school is very pleased with." The firm has also designed the Ozawa
Hall at Tanglewood.
The College's first swimming pool, Curtis Pool was built
in 1927 and named for Cyrus Curtis who received an honorary degree from
Bowdoin that same year. Mr. Curtis was a trustee from 1930 to 1933 and
was publisher of the Saturday Evening Post. The Curtis library in Brunswick
is also named for Mr. Curtis. Since the completion of Farley Field House
in 1987, the building has remained empty, with the exception of a few