Dome placed at Myles Center rotunda

Photo courtesy of Jerry Pastine A crane maneuvers the steel dome to the top of the rotunda framework at Myles Center for the Arts, where workers await to make the first attachments with high-strength bolts prior to finishing the welded connections.

ELKINS — With extreme precision, the 6,000-pound steel dome was hoisted to the top of the steel structure that forms the new rotunda entrance at Myles Center for the Arts on the campus of Davis & Elkins College. The $6.7 million renovation project, generously funded by Trustee Emerita June Myles, has continued throughout the spring and completion is expected this fall.

The two-story stone and brick rotunda will match the one that serves as an entrance to Madden Student Center. With the structural steel support in place, contractors will next construct foundation walls and pour a concrete floor slab, followed by construction of the rotunda walls in preparation for the masonry work.

“It’s refreshing to see and to know that our future is indeed as bright as the beauty of this day,” said D&E President Chris A. Wood just before the dome ascended toward a bright blue sky. “We look forward to the day when we can open the doors and when we can welcome all to this amazing facility, a facility this going to be filled with song and dance, performers and artists, creativity and learning.”

The facility and its surrounding area will serve multiple purposes for the College and the greater community as a venue for celebrations and entertainment. Additional upgrades include a more than 6,000-square-foot glass enclosed addition which will nearly double the size of The Joni and Buck Smith Arts Forum, and the installation of an elevator, additional restrooms and a warming kitchen. Myles Plaza will see a complete renovation as well. Following curvilinear lines inspired by musical influences, the space will feature walking paths, grassy areas, sections for conversations and a tiered seating area that can be used as an outdoor classroom. A 10-foot-tall bronze sculpture commissioned by Myles will accentuate the plaza.

Dedicated in 2012, Myles Center for the Arts houses Harper-McNeeley Auditorium, the Paull Gallery, The Joni and Buck Smith Arts Forum, art studios for the D&E Division of Creative Arts, the George A. Myles Pool and additional spaces.


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