The southeastern portion of the 300 block of E. College Avenue, adjacent to Brokaw Hall, will be home to the new building. (Photo by Juan Marin)
The 315 E. College Ave. building will be just west of Drew Street on the south side of College Avenue. (Photo by Juan Marin)

Lawrence University and the Trout Museum of Art are pleased to announce an expansion of their partnership, which will revitalize nearly an entire city block in downtown Appleton. A new four-story mixed-use building slated for the southeastern section of the 300 block of E. College Avenue – between S. Drew and S. Durkee Streets – will be the vibrant new home for the museum as well as faculty offices and meeting and experiential learning spaces for Lawrence and market-rate housing.

The Trout Museum of Art, which will occupy the first floor of the building at 315 E. College Ave., has been a leader in the visual arts in Appleton since the 1960s. Today, the museum hosts 12 to 18 exhibitions and more than 150 art education classes annually. The Trout Museum of Art has outgrown its existing location at 111 W. College Avenue. A new premier space for the museum will allow for wide-ranging exhibitions, art classes, public events, and the creation of valuable community partnerships.

The museum’s Board of Directors began searching for a new site last year and, after exploring potential opportunities around the Fox Cities, has found a strong partnership with Lawrence – another foundational institution in Appleton.

“A new state-of-the-art visual art museum will be an important new asset for our community,” said Christina Turner, the Trout Museum of Art’s Executive Director. “We passionately believe that art opens minds and changes people’s lives each and every day and are excited to create a world-class facility and community space that expands access to art and art education for the Fox Cities.”

Mayor Jake Woodford, Lawrence University alumnus ’13, is enthusiastic about keeping the Trout Museum of Art in Appleton and has supported the possible partnership with the university from the beginning.

“Seeing two great institutions come together to provide innovative and exciting new educational, cultural, and community programming is a win for Appletonians and people across the Fox Cities,” Woodford said.

The project aligns with Lawrence University’s current strategic objectives for larger enrollment, best-in-class liberal arts and conservatory of music education delivery, and ever-increasing service and connection to communities across the Fox Valley. Lawrence employs nearly 600 people in the Fox Cities and serves more than 1,500 students from 49 states and 38 countries, matriculating in 55 areas of study toward three bachelor’s degree programs.

Creating state-of-the-art experiential learning spaces for students, expanded office spaces for faculty and staff, and inviting spaces for welcoming community neighbors is a priority for Lawrence President Laurie A. Carter.

“A commitment to innovation in the liberal arts and meaningful community engagement and service is integral to Lawrence’s mission and values,” she said. “We prepare students for lives of achievement and citizenship – not in a vacuum but as part of a global community, which begins here. The relationship between the university and our community partners and friends is an important component of our overall success.”

The new property, beginning at the southwest corner of E. College and S. Drew, adjoins a vacant lot and office buildings owned by the university with an area purchased for the museum by an anonymous donor. Once construction of the new 120,000-square-foot facility is underway, the Boldt Company expects to complete it within 18 months. Frederick Fisher and Partners is doing design work. Trout Museum space is being designed by Boldt Technical Services.

The Board of Directors of the Trout Museum of Art approved the partnership Thursday evening. The Board of Trustees of Lawrence University approved the plan earlier.