Columbia expands with purchase of new Dance Center

By The Columbia Chronicle

Columbia announced last Thursday that it has purchased a 33,000 sq. ft building at 1306 S. Michigan that will become the new home of the Dance Center.

The new center will provide twice the space of the current Dance Center (located at 4730 N. Sheridan) and will include a 275-seat black box performance space with stadium seating, seven studios, rehearsal studio, a student lounge and office space.

The move is “part of the college ongoing commitment as an anchor presence in the dynamic growth of the South Loop,” said Bert Gall, Columbia’s Executive Vice-President and Provost in a press release.

“Moving the Dance Center here will also provide a first-rate amenity for this burgeoning residential neighborhood,” said Gall.

Columbia also announced the appointment of Phillip M. Reynolds as Executive Director of the Dance Center.

Reynolds comes from the Catamount Film and Arts Company in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, where he has been a director in 1991. Previously he held positions as executive director of the Nicolais and Louis Foundation for Dance and as director of government grants at The Brooklyn Academy of Music. He replaces Julie Simpson, who left the Dance Center to become director of the office of Community Arts Partnerships.

Renovation of the new building will begin this year and is expected to be completed by the summer of 1999.