It's a sin to kill a mockingbird...
Northrop Auditorium, the stately 1929 building that caps the mall of the University of Minnesota, will stay open for one more year before closing for a two-year architectural overhaul.
The seating capacity was a point of contention, with some arguing that it needed to remain large enough for graduation ceremonies and others advocating a smaller theater for better acoustics, improved sightlines and a more intimate atmosphere for music and performing arts.
The latter view appears to have prevailed. The renovation plan, with Twin Cities firm HGA as architect and New York-based firm Arup as theatrical and acoustical consultants, would have about 2,800 seats, said Steven Rosenstone, the vice president for scholarly and cultural affairs. Pulling out 2,000 seats from the current configuration and having up to three balconies would create "a higher-quality and more intimate venue," Rosenstone said.
"It would be a sin not to get more use out of the space that is at the heart of campus," Rosenstone said.
The delayed start has not affected the budget, which Rosenstone said remains at about $70 million.
And where, exactly, is the money for this coming from?
Once again there is the question of priorities for spending at the U.
Do we need a cultural czar at the U of M?
And how much is being paid for his (administrative) salary?
The U seems to be developing champagne tastes on a beer budget.
It is also a sin to to use the limited funds we have unwisely.