Duke endowment to remake landmark facilities

March 7, 2011 9:31:18 AM PST
Duke University announced Monday that an $80 million gift from The Duke Endowment of Charlotte will transform the university's student union and renovate two other landmark facilities.To be paid over multiple years, the grant will fund the first major renovation of West Union and Page Auditorium on the West Campus and Baldwin Auditorium on the East Campus. All three buildings are part of the original campus construction that began following benefactor James B. Duke's creation of both the Endowment and the university in 1924.

West Union served as the principal student gathering and eating space for more than 50 years, until the opening of the Bryan Center in 1982. It will be completely remade on the interior to create new student social space and dining opportunities.

The planned renovation of Page Auditorium will update the interior, seating, acoustics, backstage and lobby spaces, creating a modern and accessible venue that accommodates the demand of student and cultural groups as well as professional concerts, theater and dance productions, and major speakers.

Construction work is expected to take place in phases beginning later in 2011 with Baldwin Auditorium. In the meantime, Duke officials are developing plans to provide dining services and relocate existing programs and activities during the renovations, which are expected to take several years.

The grant from The Duke Endowment is the largest single philanthropic gift in the university's history and in the Endowment's 87 years.

For more information about The Duke Endowment, visit www.dukeendowment.org.

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