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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities
Auditorium alterations to Fairchild Theatre

Auditorium – Alterations to Fairchild Theatre

Project phase: Archived

This project included alterations to the Fairchild Theatre, which addressed the College of Music’s long-standing need for an additional and acoustically appropriate venue to accommodate its numerous rehearsals, performances, classes, and musical productions.  The Auditorium Building, including Fairchild Theatre, was opened in 1940 and did not have air conditioning.  The addition of air conditioning to Fairchild Theatre supports the increased utilization of this facility and improves the overall environment and experience for students, faculty and patrons.

This project represented a coordinated effort between the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Music, and University Outreach and Engagement/Wharton Center to meet the various performance needs of each unit and improve the overall use and quality of the performance facility resources on campus.

Project details:

  • Installation of an orchestra pit with lift system.
  • An orchestra shell and acoustical upgrades.
  • Relocation of the scene shop dressing room and prop storage room impacted by installation of the orchestra pit.
  • Renovation of existing, and alterations to enlarge existing restrooms and adding a family restrooms and other single-user toilet rooms.
  • Barrier-free accessibility that expands access to the lower level of the building, Arena Theatre, upper balcony seating and second- and third-floor offices.
  • Installation of elevator.
  • Installation of an air conditioning system.

Heating and ventilation system efficiency was improved due to replacement of the systems.

The Auditorium building is located at the intersection of Farm Lane and Auditorium Road in the north academic district.

View the time-lapse video of this construction project. (Select MSU Fairchild from the dropdown menu, then click the clock icon under the calendar in the left-hand column to view the time-lapse video.)


Construction began in September 2012, with substantial completion in October 2013, and final completion in November 2014.

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Interactive detour map with current closure information for motorists and pedestrians.