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Rice to tear down Rice Media Center, replace with remodeled Sewall Hall


By Christina Tan     4/3/19 7:11pm

Administrative officials are planning to tear down the Rice Media Center and remodel Sewall Hall to accomodate the lost facilities, according to an email sent by Visual and Dramatic Arts Department Chair John Sparagana. 

“We are stressing to the administration that holding off on tearing down the Media Center until the Sewall Hall restoration is complete is important to the stability and continuity of our curriculum and programming,” Sparagana said. 

Sparagana also said that he “maintains an aspiration for a student creative arts building” at the site of the Media Center. The timeline for removing the Rice Media Center and the future plans for the location are not currently clear. 

The Rice Media Center, located across from Rice University Police Department’s office, currently hosts both the Rice Cinema and the campus’ only darkroom — a specialty space used to develop film photos. The Rice Cinema has been active for over half a century, hosting films by notable artists such as Andy Warhol. In addition to hosting photography classes, the Media Center also hosts exhibitions by students, professors and other artists in its main gallery space. 

The Media Center removal will follow the recent replacement of the Rice Gallery in Sewall Hall with a visitor welcome center.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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