Section: News

Trustees approve new student theater space, market relocation

Students, faculty and alumni will have to say goodbye to the Black Box Theater this summer after the Board of Trustees approved its destruction last week.

Construction of a new Village Market and a new student theater space will officially begin this summer since the College gained approval from the Board of Trustees at their spring meeting last Thursday and Friday.

The board approved part of the College’s  $18 million-plan for the Village of Gambier, according to a report released by the College on Wednesday.

Along with the replacement of the Black Box for a new Village Market, the approved projects include residential spaces for 12 students located above the market, the demolition of the north end of Farr Hall and the construction of new retail and another student residence space in its place.

The partial demolition of Farr is slated for the summer of 2017.

Two townhouse-style apartments on the plot of the former Gambier Grill are also part of the Village plan, but no timeline has been approved for this project, according to Brackett B. Denniston III ’69, chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Kenyon received approval on Monday from the Village Council for two variances to the local building code to construct on the site of the Black Box Theater, proposals which the Gambier Village Council previously rejected.

In addition to approving the Village construction projects, the board approved the construction of a new student theater space to replace the Black Box. The new theater will be approximately 1,500 square feet and will be located near the Craft Center and the North Campus Apartments. The theater is scheduled to open in September, according to the board’s report.

Beyond approving construction projects, the trustees also backed the independent audit of Kenyon’s Title IX policies, which President Sean Decatur announced on April 27.

Denniston laid out the board’s opinion on the recent Title IX announcement in a News Bulletin via Student-Info email on May 2, in which he emphasized the board’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual assault. “The College must continue and intensify its work both to foster a culture committed to the prevention of sexual assault and to ensure that its policy and procedures are appropriately tough and protect the safety of our students but, at the same time, are fair,” Denniston wrote.

In addition to supporting Decatur’s plans for an audit, the board announced the establishment of a special committee, comprised of board members, to act as an oversight committee for the College’s audit.

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