A big crowd came out see Kellogg Community College's (KCC) newly renovated Davidson Visual and Performing Arts Center in Battle Creek on Thursday.

The Davidson Center, which primarily houses the College's visual and performing arts programs, was closed to students following the fall 2014 semester, with renovations beginning in late December and stretching into this summer. The $6.6 million renovation project, funded by the voter-approved capital millage renewed in 2012, significantly upgraded the center's facilities and technology capabilities, expanded common areas for students and allowed for the integration of new equipment and materials, including a larger stage and new theater-style seating in the center's auditorium.

Photo by Tim Collins/Townsquare Media
Photo by Tim Collins/Townsquare Media

 

 

The ceremonies included the dedication of the new Ed Zentara Band Room and the new Eleanor R. and Robert A. DeVries Gallery and the expanded outdoor courtyard.

 

 

Photo by Tim Collins/Townsquare Media

The highlight of the day for me and many in attendance was seeing retired director of bands Ed Zentara come up to direct the KCC Concert Band, as the group performed “Stars and Stripes Forever” on stage in the renovated auditorium.

 

 

 

I found myself tearing up, as I watched Ed joyfully engage the audience and the band as

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he always did during his long career at KCC.  Zentera touched the lives of many, many people in our community over the years.  Anyone watching him for five minutes on Wednesday, whether they had ever seen him before or not, would know instantly that he was and is a gem…..a real inspiration and a tremendous educator.

 

The newly renovated band room bears a plaque in Ed’s honor.

Photo by Tim Collins/Townsquare Media

 

 

The choir room got a nice makeover too.

Photo by Tim Collins/Townsquare Media

 

 

Photo by Tim Collins/Townsquare Media