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Auditorium Repairs To Be U-M Priority

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<br><br>Artist's conception of proposed renovations to 78-year-old Hill Auditorium.<br><br>£*✓*•: &uj4-£>/as*-s: /***■*.<br><br>Auditorium repairs to be U-M priority<br><br>By KIM CLARKE<br><br>NEWS STAFF REPORTER<br><br>SEP 2 2 1990<br><br>Renovating Hill Auditorium will be a top priority as part of a major University of Michigan fund drive that to raise at least $650 million.<br><br>University officials say it will take at least $20 million to upgrade the auditorium, including adding air conditioning, dressing rooms for artists and concession areas for patrons.<br><br>An extensive plan to revamp the 78-year-old building and launch a private fund drive to pay for the improvements was approved Friday by the U-M Board of Regents.<br><br>"Hill Auditorium is really one of the great treasures of the world,” U-M President James J. Duderstadt said during the board’s monthly<br><br>meeting.<br><br>While no fund-raising strategy has been set up, U-M development officials will include the Hill plans in their drive to generate at least $650 million in private gifts. The major drive, which has not been formally announced, will span several years.<br><br>Duderstadt said the auditorium will be “one of the highest priorities” of the upcoming fund drive.<br><br>Improvements will be made when money is available and will be timed so as not to interrupt concert seasons.<br><br>University Planner Fred Mayer told regents the improvements will preserve the auditorium’s historical character and exceptional acoustics. The upgrade includes improved<br><br>exterior lighting, interior painting, new seats, and roof and brick repairs.<br><br>A major addition will be air conditioning, with the unit’s chillers housed outside of the auditorium to decrease noise, Mayer said.<br><br>“That one fact (air conditioning) alone will make a tremendous improvement both for the audience and the musicians,” Mayer said.<br><br>Plans also call for concession areas, improved restrooms and a new sound system to improve the amplification and acoustics, Mayer said.<br><br>Regent Thomas Roach, D-Saline, said the changes were "very well planned.” The regents were unanimous in backing the proposal. Regent Jafries Waters, D-Muskegon, was absent.