Inspiring imaginations, SHED dedicated with official ribbon-cutting ceremony
With oversized orange scissors and an orange ribbon, the Student Hall for Exploration and Development (SHED) was officially dedicated Thursday, Oct. 12, in the center of the RIT campus.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was part of Brick City Homecoming and Family Weekend, as the Board of Trustees, President’s Roundtable, and many national advisory councils and volunteer groups are on campus for the celebratory weekend.
The SHED will transform RIT by creating a new epicenter on campus, where technology, the arts, and design will converge and ideas will percolate freely, said RIT President David Munson at the ceremony.
“As you look around, you’ll see that the SHED serves as our new epicenter for creativity and innovation,” said Munson. “Situated at the very heart of campus, it shines a spotlight on student collaboration and connection by expanding, campus wide, our makerspaces and adding classrooms and performing arts facilities.”
The SHED, a 200,000-gross-square-foot complex, is the largest project since the Henrietta campus opened in 1968. Construction began during the COVID-19 pandemic in summer 2020.
The SHED includes five new active learning classrooms alongside the newly renovated Wallace Library with its 22 new classrooms. The SHED also houses new makerspaces, studios, and performing arts facilities. Some of these areas are still a work in progress. Workers are completing the Sklarsky Glass Box Theater, practice rooms, makerspaces on the A Level, as well as the dance studio and music instruction studio.
The SHED demonstrates active learning – active learning in makerspaces, in performing arts studios and theatres, and in the classrooms, noted RIT Trustee and alumnus Austin McChord. McChord marveled at the final outcome of the SHED, from initial conception ideas to where it stands today. The idea for the SHED was first announced in 2017 and funded, in part, by a $50 million gift from McChord.
RIT Student Government President Darcie Jones shared her excitement for what the SHED means to students. “I am incredibly excited to paint a picture of how we envision using this space both now and into the future. As you have heard, the SHED is not just a building; it’s a symbol of innovation, creativity, and collaboration. As students, we are eager to embrace the opportunities the SHED provides. We envision it as a space where our dreams and aspirations can take shape, where we can collaborate, innovate, and continue to foster RIT as a hub of creativity and innovation.”
An RIT community open house for the SHED will be announced at a later date.