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Queens University Of Charlotte Plans $22M Renovation For Fine Arts Building

Queens University of Charlotte The Sarah Belk Gambrell Center for Arts & Civic Engagement
Rendering of Queens University of Charlotte The Sarah Belk Gambrell Center for Arts & Civic Engagement

Queens University of Charlotte’s fine arts building, on the corner of Selwyn and Wellesley avenues, is receiving a $22M renovation and a name change. It will be The Sarah Belk Gambrell Center for the Arts & Civic Engagement.

Built in 1966, the building is three stories with 55K SF and includes a recital hall, a 1,000-seat auditorium, offices and classrooms. The renovation will add a two-story, 8K SF art gallery and an outdoor plaza with a sculpture garden extending from the front of the building toward Selwyn Avenue. The recital hall in the lower level will be restored.

Queens University of Charlotte Theatre in the The Sarah Belk Gambrell Center for Arts & Civic Engagement Rendering
Rendering of the theater in The Sarah Belk Gambrell Center for Arts & Civic Engagement at Queens University of Charlotte

“The other major architectural feature of the building is a total renovation of the Dana Auditorium,” Queens University of Charlotte Vice President for Campus Planning and Services Bill Nichols said. “We are going to turn that into a beautiful theater.”

The fine arts programs are scattered across campus in separate buildings. The renovations will allow them to be under one roof.  “It will be a cultural center as the arts are at the center of culture,” Queens University of Charlotte Executive Director of the Department of Art, Design and Music Siu Challons-Lipton said. “In this center, the public can look at an art exhibit, hear a musical performance, watch a play and hear a reading.” Faculty and staff plan to partner with theater and performance companies, museums and galleries for programming.

Queens University of Charlotte Fine Arts Building
Queens University of Charlotte Fine Arts Building

Funding for the project includes a $10M lead gift from The Gambrell Foundation in honor of Sarah Belk Gambrell, and the remainder from private donors.

Queens is a co-educational private school on 30 acres in the Myers Park neighborhood. The school serves more than 2,600 students. Its academic programs include liberal arts and sciences and professional fields such as communication, nursing, health and education.