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Knox College's Whitcomb Art Center with landscaping underway.


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Construction on Whitcomb Art Center Nears Completion

September 13, 2016

Knox College's Whitcomb Art Center with landscaping underway.

Construction of the new Whitcomb Art Center at Knox College is in its final stages. The building will hold its first classes starting with winter term in January 2017.

A Tumblr blog,, tracks progress of construction, including time-lapse videos. 

Home to the College's art and art history departments, the Whitcomb Art Center will provide a series of spaces—studio, seminar, and classroom—for the study and creation of two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and multimedia works of art.

"This facility will meet the needs of students and faculty for a beautiful, technologically innovative learning and working environment," said Knox College President Teresa Amott.

The 30,000-square-foot facility features seven teaching studios for painting, printmaking, design, sculpture, ceramics, drawing and digital art. It also will include separate metalworking and woodworking shops, a two-story critique hall, seminar and lecture spaces, and faculty offices. Faculty and seniors working on capstone projects will have dedicated studio spaces.

This building has been designed with future LEED certification in mind. It is energy efficient, with a sawtooth roof that fills the second floor studio spaces with even, natural light in all seasons. Native prairie plants surrounding the building will be nourished by storm runoff. The metal exterior is accented with repurposed lumber from a shed that once stood on the building site and Purington pavers from the streets of Galesburg. Heart pine, reclaimed from the floor of Alumni Hall, is featured in the building's classroom.

The building is named after Dick '57 and Joan Whitcomb '56 who donated $5 million toward the project. Fundraising is in the final stretch with $500,000 yet to be raised

The Whitcomb Art Center is part of the fundraising initiative Above & Beyond that has raised more than $50 million in five years to support and enhance the student educational experience and campus facilities.

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Printed on Sunday, October 21, 2018