Myer Horowitz to be renovated by January 2019

The 720 drab, red, carpeted seats of the Myer Horowitz theatre might soon be replaced by a new, modern look.

The Students’ Union is currently in the process of reviewing a series of renovation plans for the Students’ Union Building’s theatre. Since the 1970s, the Myer Horowitz theatre has hosted dance competitions, bodybuilding meets, Students’ Union (SU) events, and other functions. The estimated cost for the renovations is $11 million.

The tentative renovation plans involve rerouting the Myer Horowitz theatre’s entrance and relocating L’Express downstairs to expand its catering space. L’Express currently brings in about $500,000 per year in catering, but Marc Doumouchel, SU General Manager, said in the June 27 sitting of Students’ Council said the restaurant is limited by its lack of kitchen space. Increasing catering space and venue support should help the SU host more events during the summer, which would bring in more revenue, Doumouchel said.

Other possible changes to the Myer Horowitz theatre include constructing a patio on the roof of SUB, creating a dedicated entrance area, relocating the theatre’s stairs, adding two more rentable rooms, and upgrading the dressing rooms.

Image is an early concept design of what a renovated Myer Horowitz theatre may look like and is not necessarily indicative of finished building.
All images are early concept designs of what a renovated Myer Horowitz theatre may look like, and are not necessarily indicative of finished building. Supplied

Last renovated in 1983, the Myer Horowitz theatre’s lights, entrance, seats, and sound equipment have aged substantially since their installation. While the SU has said the Myer Horowitz theatre’s seats may be replaced in the winter (before SU elections, held in March), the majority of structural renovations will likely be complete by January of 2018 or 2019.

Doumouchel added the SU will likely gain business if it renovates the Myer Horowitz. Conversely, he said the SU will likely lose business in the long-term if it doesn’t renovate. He added that SUB has nearly maximized its ability to generate revenue during peak academic hours, but it can still increase its productivity in the summer and during evenings.

“Our building is our economic engine,” Doumouchel said. “The better our building does, the more we can do for students.”

The SU will pay $1.5 million in planning the renovations, while the final $9.5 million will come from grants and fundraising. Stakeholders, including SU alumni, have expressed interest in helping the project, Doumouchel said.

An architect is scheduled to be selected for the project later this summer. Schematic work and fundraising for the project will begin by Fall 2016. The SU has tentatively set Summer or Fall 2017 as a date to begin construction.

Image is an early concept design of what a renovated Myer Horowitz theatre may look like and is not necessarily indicative of finished building.

Robyn Paches, the SU’s Vice-President (Operations and Finance) said students can become involved with the Myer Horowitz renovations and other SUB ventures by applying to the SUB advisory group as students-at-large.

“It’s really exciting to have a plan laid out,” Paches said. “One of our number one goals at the SU is to ensure that students get the most usage out of campus … We think that modernizing the Myer Horowitz as well as maximizing what students can use SUB for really helps bring students back to campus.”

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