The Delaware College of Art and Design announced today that the college has received a total of $340,000 in grant funding to complete the renovation of the second floor of its flagship building at 600 N. Market St. in Wilmington.
The major funding came from the Longwood Foundation, the Welfare Foundation, and the Laffey-McHugh Foundation, according to a DCAD press release. Grant funds secured from the three foundations, along with DCAD's own financial commitments to the project, will support the College's renovation project. DCAD plans to begin renovations within the 2013-2014 school year.
A number of the College's needs — driven especially by growth over the past few years — will be addressed by this construction, including the addition of academic and studio classrooms, administrative offices, and more. In total, the completed second floor will offer DCAD nearly 7,000-square-feet of additional operational space, and will finally maximize full use of the main building.
Since its opening, DCAD has made its home in the historic Delmarva Power and Light Building in the heart of Wilmington's designated Upper Market Street Historic District. The building—which currently houses all of the College's administrative offices, six majors, studios, a darkroom, the Edgar A. Thronson Library, and more—was originally built in 1932 during the height of the Great Depression.
When the college was founded in 1997, unforeseen construction issues that arose during the building's renovations meant that funding from the city, county, and state was diverted to correct the building's structural issues, according to the DCAD press release. As a result, the college was unable to complete renovations on the entirety of the building's second floor. Since that time, the entire floor has remained unfinished and untouched.
Over the years, DCAD has quadrupled its enrollment, from 50 students in its first year to more than 200 degree students in recent years. The College has also expanded its non-degree programs through the Continuing Education department, offering year-round certificates, career-enhancing coursework, and a pre-college summer program for high school students. DCAD's expansion in 2012 included the renovation and opening of a new residence hall for first-year degree students. The building, located at 707 N. King Street, also houses the campus's new dining hall, which has allowed DCAD to offer a meal plan to residents for the first time.
The building's North Market Street side will be Wilmington's new and only fully-dedicated art supply store, Jerry's Artarama, which is scheduled to open on Aug. 1, 2013.
The Delaware College of Art and Design, the state's first and only professional art and design school, was founded through a creative partnership between Pratt Institute in New York City and the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. The College opened in 1997. For more information, visit www.dcad.edu.