When the calendar reaches July 4, some people at #RITphoto think the summer is more than half over. Summer typically is a time of planning, getting ready for the fall, and time away from campus for the dedicated faculty who are working on numerous self-directed initiatives. It is also construction season on the RIT campus.

Summer 2016 has been busy in Gannett Hall as RIT and the School prepares for an exciting future. There are a few summer classes that are running including our long standing summer transfer program, the photo technology class, and H & A. There are also a number of students working on independent research initiatives and countless students on coop and internships. Our community is diverse and active all year. It is very exciting important to see the HUGE changes being done to the building itself.

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Students work on a lab in the photo technology class, formerly known as M & P.

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The Kodak Quad has been dug up most of the summer.

The Frank E Gannett building opened in 1969. At the time, it contained more than one-hundred and fifty darkrooms. When the new Henrietta campus opened, there were more than 1000 daytime photography students and another 1000 evening or part-time time students. Kodak was booming, Bausch and Lomb and Xerox we also growing. The second floor of Gannett Hall was designed to house faculty offices, the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences administrative offices, the industrial photography laboratories, as well as the Photographic Sciences department, now the Center for Imaging Science.

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Pictured above is a student working in one of the sensitometry darkrooms located on the downtown RIT campus.

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Shared above is the original floor schematic of Gannett Hall’s sensitometry complex

There were also more than sixty darkrooms on the second floor. In the late 1980’s, 40 of the darkrooms became the Image Permanence Institute.

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During the last 20 years, the film curriculum of the Imaging and Photographic Technology department continued to play a lesser  role and by 2010, the darkrooms had become mainly storage rooms. Gannett Hall was designed and built to make DARK spaces that had running water, sinks and adequate Pyrex glass drain pipes that would not corrode when exposed to gallons of photographic chemistry. In 1986, it was estimated the School used 200 gallons of paper and film developer weekly. But big changes to last darkroom complex on the second floor are well along.
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The second floor of Gannett Hall is in the middle of a significant transformation. All the windows on the south side of the building are being replaced, the Harris Computer Lab and Seminar rooms are being ready for fall classes, a large window is being cut into the breezeway allowing light to wash the interior, and the north side of the building is being readied for the addition of the Magic Center. Changes are evident and the future is exciting. We are getting ready for the future. How about you?

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The new window in the breezeway will be 6′ x 6′

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The plans for the second floor renovation demolished the 20 darkrooms and will create a 25 seat computer lab, a large seminar classroom, and experimental multimedia lab

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