The Hargrove Memorial Amphitheater received a major facelift over the summer. The Hargrove Memorial Amphitheater received a major facelift over the summer, and the campus community couldn’t be more excited! Recommended through the recently completed campus master plan and endorsed by the student community, funding for this project was supported by the Women’s Endowment Quorum (WEQ), designating over $115,000 towards the renovation. In existence since 1985, the Women's Endowment Quorum (WEQ) has contributed more than one million dollars to Centenary College. Membership is open to members of our community who believe in the vital mission of Centenary College. Membership in the WEQ requires an annual contribution of $1,000. 

For many years, the amphitheater, also known as the “Shell,” has been underutilized due to its uncomfortable seating, limited access, and enormous capacity. Especially for student groups on campus, the vast number of seats available in the Shell had become a barrier to its use. Student programming offered in the Shell would almost certainly appear to be poorly attended--even with hundreds participating.

The funding provided by the WEQ provided for the removal of all but the lower bowl of concrete benches. In their place, the slope was leveled to be more gradual and covered with sod to provide lawn-style seating. The remaining concrete benches will still seat several hundred participants, while the lawn will offer a more flexible area for a variety of uses by our students, faculty, staff, and community. Click here to view the renovation from start to finish (photo credit: Sherry Heflin).

Centenary’s reopening procedures this fall to safely welcome students back to campus have had the faculty and staff exploring all outdoor spaces on campus to use as classroom space. The renovation of the Shell could not have come at a better time as many faculty are reserving the space to use as an outdoor classroom. The Centenary College Choir also plans to hold rehearsals in the Shell to comply with COVID-19 safety measures. This project has helped transform the Shell from an underutilized campus asset to a highly functional learning and social space. This is Phase One of the contemplated upgrades to the Shell, with more planned in the coming years.

The Shell renovation comes on the heels of the completion of a new entryway at the Hurley School of Music, which was featured in the Spring 2020 edition of Maroon and White.

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