The new semester is beginning with a fresh look for Hiram College’s Warren S. Hayden Auditorium, and the community came together on Sept. 2, 2015, to celebrate recent enhancements.
Built in 1935 and last renovated in 1975, the 80-year-old auditorium located in Bates Hall began undergoing a transformation in spring 2015. Renovations included new seating for 511, including wheelchair-accessible seating, a new thrust stage and extensive repairs to the roof of Bates Hall including new gutters.
In 2014, the College secured a competitive grant for $260,854 from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission to renovate the Auditorium. The College matched 50 percent of these funds, and the Harley C. and Mary Hoover Price Foundation provided an additional $21,000 for the renovations. Metis Construction Services, LCC, of Kent, performed the work.
Ohio Sen. John Eklund (R, District 18), who championed the project by promoting it among state legislators, attended the celebration.
“I had the most fortunate opportunity throughout this project to work with the people associated with Hiram College and Hiram Village – the administrators, the faculty, staff, alumni, the mayor of Hiram,” said Sen. Eklund. “I’ve seen the positive relationship between the college and the community – not just the community in Hiram but the broader community in the state, and frankly, the decision to advocate on behalf of this project was an easy one.”
Hiram College President Lori Varlotta, Ph.D., thanked Sen. Eklund for his support, noting that the renovations will serve the entire community well.
“Rest assured, we know this will not just be a gem for Hiram College, but for Hiram Village and beyond,” Dr. Varlotta said.
Hayden Auditorium is used for theatrical and musical performances, speakers and formal College events. With the most recent set of renovations, Hiram will be able to better attract high profile speakers, performers and county and regional events to the space and take advantage of the College’s central location among large Northeast Ohio cities (Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Youngstown).
The first high-profile event in the renovated space will be a free Cleveland Jazz Orchestra performance at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 18, 2015.