By Mike Greife, June 7, 2016
WARRENSBURG, MO – Dedicated in 1923, Hendricks Hall, the historic auditorium on the campus of the University of Central Missouri, has served the campus and community with timeless architecture and design features that make it unique. In an effort to preserve the historic aspects of the auditorium while creating a state-of-the-art performance venue for UCM, Warrensburg and the surrounding area, The Hendricks Hall Renovation Project remains a priority as fundraising gains momentum.
The fundraising campaign was initiated with the March 29, 2016, Day of Giving for the Arts following the performance by UCM’s music students and faculty at the annual President’s Gala in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. Since then, UCM faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the arts at UCM have come forward with financial support for continuing the renovation project, with more than $250,000 pledged or raised to date through collaborative efforts of the UCM Alumni Foundation and the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
“The opportunity to preserve and improve a grand facility such as Hendricks Hall, which holds rich memories for thousands of alumni, community members and friends, is one to be embraced,” said Gersham Nelson, dean of the UCM College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. “The message we have received so far is overwhelmingly in support of our effort to preserve this historic facility.”
The first stages of the renovation of Hendricks Hall have been completed. Cabling and set lines have been replaced, new stage curtains have been hung, and a new lighting system has been installed. The next phase of the renovation will involve restoration of the ceiling of Hendricks Hall to its original grandeur. Projected cost for the ceiling renovation is $800,000 to $1 million.
“At some point several decades ago, an acoustical tile ceiling was installed over the original ceiling,” Nelson explained. “The ornate original moldings, cornices and medallions are still there, but the acoustical tile ceiling needs to be carefully removed and the original ceiling restored. With materials now available, that can be accomplished while preserving, and even improving, the acoustical qualities of the auditorium.”
The next phases of renovation include opportunities for the naming of seating areas and Hendricks Hall facilities and spaces such as dressing rooms and the green room, and installation of a new pipe organ. Final stages of the renovation include the extension of the stage and acoustic proscenium, and audio and aesthetic upgrades. Total cost of renovation is projected at $3.2 million.
Donations to The Hendricks Hall Renovation Project may be made through the UCM Alumni Foundation. Pledges may be made by accessing the website hendrickshall.com. Individuals may call in pledges or contributions to 660-543-4179, email a commitment to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail a contribution to The Hendricks Hall Renovation Project, Smiser Alumni Center, UCM, Warrensburg Mo. 64093. Updates and information also can be found on Facebook at Hendricks Hall Renovation Project.
Dedicated in October 1923, Hendricks Hall was built with an appropriation of $150,000 from the Missouri State Legislature. Designed by architect Samuel Hitt and built by Marxer Construction Company of Des Moines, Iowa, the then state-of-the art auditorium featured ornate moldings and cornices surrounding windows and the large proscenium stage. These architectural features remain a part of the auditorium today.
In 1933 the Central Missouri State Teachers College Board of Regents approved the naming of the auditorium in honor of Eldo L. Hendricks, who served as college president from 1915 to 1937. Throughout the generations, the facility has served as a venue for musical and theatrical productions, along with the convocations and guest speakers who have visited the campus. Hendricks Hall also has served the cultural and educational needs of the surrounding community since its construction.