On March 9th 2007 Western Michigan University officially opened and dedicated the new James W. and Lois I. Richmond Center for Visual Arts (RCVA) to the public. Named for philanthropists James and Lois Richmond, this exciting new venue is a major cultural asset for WMU, southwest Michigan, and the Midwest region.
The RCVA was designed by the architecture/engineering firm SmithGroup, Inc., of Detroit, Michigan. CSM Group of Kalamazoo was the Construction Manager for the project.
The RCVA contains 44,000 square feet over three floors. The first floor houses three galleries,
a multimedia classroom, and the Director of Exhibitions office and exhibition workrooms. The second floor houses the main offices for the Gwen Frostic School of Art, a student study area and a large, tiered, multimedia lecture room. The third floor is home to the offices and studios for the Graphic Design program.
Construction of the RCVA was phase one of a two-part effort to relocate the School of Art from several old and outdated locations on campus - Sangren Hall, Knollwood Building, and East Hall. Phase two was the renovation of the south bar of Kohrman Hall, vacated by the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 2003, as classroom, office, and studio space. The two buildings connect on the second floors.