Potter Center Renovations

Renovations are currently underway to the Potter Center, thanks to generous support from the Weatherwax Foundation, alumni and friends and the Jackson College Foundation. This fall, guests will be welcomed by an exciting transformation to the lobby, grand stairway and mezzanine. To date, more than $567,000 has been raised for the first phase of the project, which includes many improvements such as new carpeting, tile flooring, wall coverings and lighting. Elevator repairs and a new elevator car will ensure that the upper levels and theaters remain accessible to all.

On the second-floor, the freshly remodeled and newly named Charles Birney and Helen Murphy Grand Mezzanine will feature an expanded art gallery and serve as a stunning entrance to the theater and music hall. Charles Birney ’54 credits his start at Jackson College for his lifetime of achievements. Birney and his late wife, Helen Murphy, greatly enjoyed the arts, and he is honored to support the project in her loving memory. Work on these spaces will continue throughout the summer and should be largely complete by September in time for the PotterCenter season.

“Community members that we have met with are extremely excited about the project,” said Jennifer Brooket, associate vice president. “Many times, the first experience that someone has with Jackson College is attending an event at the Potter Center. Over the years, the facilities have been well-used and well-loved by thousands of patrons, making renovations and updates necessary to continue providing outstanding experiences for not only our students but our entire community.”

Future plans

Foundation President Jason Valente states that “fundraising is beginning for the second and third phase of the Potter Center Performing Arts project. We are pleased to announce that we have received a $50,000 challenge grant from The Addison P. Cook III Foundation to jump-start fundraising for the second phase.” Phase two will include refurbishing Harold Sheffer Music Hall. Sheffer will receive new seating and carpeting, a new handrail system, new curtains and aesthetic improvements. The third phase will be refurbishing Michael Baughman Theatre. The Potter Center was built in 1976, with the Harold Sheffer Music Hall completed in 1980. It is a versatile performing arts complex that has welcomed performers of all kinds over the years and nearly 50,000 patrons annually.

Please join us in meeting this challenge by making a gift today through the donation form below. Call the Jackson College Foundation at 517.787.0244 to find out more about a multi-year pledge.


Donation Form