Henrion Hall renovations improve sculpture and foundry areas for art students

  • Henrion Hall's second phase of renovations include upgrades the sculpture and foundry areas.
  • Renovations focused on ventilation, accessibility and functionality throughout the building.
  • Henrion Hall, opened in 1921, served as home to the university's physical education department until 1983, when it moved to Heskett Center.

The second phase of renovations is close to complete on Wichita State’s Henrion Hall, the 100-year-old building that houses WSU’s studio arts.

“It is paramount for our students to conduct art-making in classrooms that are tailored to the functionality and safety needs of the art we make,” said Tanna Burchinal, studio manager for the School of Art, Design and Creative Industries. “Each phase of Henrion Hall's renovations has addressed this. We are adding beauty back to this 100-year-old building, as well.”

Henrion Hall, which opened in 1921 as the university’s gymnasium, provides studio space for ceramics, sculpture and painting.

The second phase of renovation affects the first-floor north side of the building, where the sculpture department conducts most of its casting processes. Updates include new ventilation and air conditioning, as well as improved accessibility and functionality of workspaces.

With this phase, classrooms dedicated to wax sculpting for mold-making and ceramic shell casting were upgraded with new equipment.

The renovation also includes the outdoor foundry and seating area.

The foundry will have an expanded outdoor work area with WSU-branded fencing. Gates on the west side open to a seating area for observation of metal pours performed by ADCI sculpture students with aluminum, bronze, yellow brass and iron. The foundry will also include a new overhead awning and crane to handle large sculptures.

The first phase of renovation was completed more than a year ago. The ceramic area on the first-floor south side of the building received most of the upgrades. Improvements included clay storage, clay mixing, three classrooms, a kiln room glazing studio and materials lab.

“The renovation has impacted many things, including air conditioning and ventilation for the renovated areas,” Burchinal said. “That includes specialty ventilation for material safety, the functionality of the areas, with improved organization tailored to the processes and accessibility and equipment used for ceramics.”

The ceramics program supports 11 ceramic kilns, including four state-of-the art Blaauw kilns and two ceramic wheel classrooms for classes in multiple ceramic disciplines. 

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