Groundbreaking. Opening the ground for new foundations. Building new walls on new foundations, the creation of space. Space protected from wind, snow, heat and rain, space for human life, human endeavors, and human aspirations. Building walls to create an inside separated and protected from the outside, building a house to allow us to move between inside and outside. We can open ourselves best when we are in a protected environment. This new building is all about protection for opening our senses to create sense.

from Campus.News

President Shirley Ann Jackson, Rensselaer trustees and administrators, and community leaders will gather to break ground for the new $141.7 million Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC). The event will take place on Friday, Sept. 19, noon to 1 p.m., at Folsom Library. The Rensselaer community is invited to attend; a reception will follow.

From Rensselaer Magazine: June 2002

Rensselaer has chosen Johannes Goebel, a respected curator and renowned composer of electronic music, to lead the university's experimental media and performing arts center. He will begin his appointment July 1.

From Campus.News

Rensselaer has chosen Johannes Goebel, a respected curator and renowned composer of electronic music, to lead the university's experimental media and performing arts center.

Program managers in charge of the construction of the new Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center are creating a schematic design extension for the building, according to Martin Moore, EMPAC integration manager.

The EMPAC schematic designs had to undergo a number of revisions to take into account the current excavation projects and seismic analysis. The plans won't be finalized until May 2, but EMPAC is still scheduled for completion in 2006.

This semester marks my twentieth year at Rensselaer. As I reflect upon this period, I've never before had as strong a sense that Rensselaer was moving onward and upward. Last November, I was asked by Dr. Jackson to chair the Vice President of Student Life Search Committee. Through the many conversations that I've had with students since the inception of the search, I'm now aware of the dramatic changes that have taken place since the time that I was in college-generated by a combination of societal shifts, the extraordinary influence of technology and, of course, the web.

TROY, NY, July 5, 2001 - Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, today announced that the innovative, London-based architecture firm of Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners has been selected to design Rensselaer's new Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center.