FLINT (WJRT) (01/10/17)--It's the re-purposing of a sealed off section of the North Bank Center building. The University of Michigan-Flint's arts department has found new use for what was once known as the North Bank Club.
"It's one of the great things I love about U of M-Flint. If you have a great idea, people let you do it," said Art & Art History Program Director Chris Waters.
The club was located on the eleventh floor of the North Bank Center. It closed shortly before the university acquired the building in 1999. An art studio recently opened in the former health and fitness room.
"You walk into this big open space and you're just immediately consumed with its beautifulness. When we got the opportunity to move print making here, I was astounded," said UM-Flint lecturer Rebecca Zeiss.
A photography dark room has been added as well.
"I'm sure it was a perfectly occupied sauna. In the corner was the heater thing where you poured the water and the steam," said Waters.
That's only the beginning. The men's locker room is now a video production studio, with live broadcast capabilities. It's designed to enhance the University's on-line and distance learning programs.
"We have teleprompters. We have a green screen presentation area," said Waters.
The twelfth floor has what's left of fitness center's jogging track. Beyond one of its walls was where the old Top of the Park restaurant used to be. There could be plans to use that space as well in the near future.
"I actually ate in that restaurant a couple of times and was very disappointed when it closed. It was a great restaurant. It's now an empty facility that has huge potential."
While there won't be a restaurant, the area could possibly become a painting room.
"The sky is the limit. This building offers nothing but possibilities to us," said Waters.