Animation Program Fall 2021 Updates 

Animation Facilities Update #1

This email was sent to the School of Film/Video community on June 17 informing students, faculty and staff of the assessment and progress of the animation areas following a cooling tower leak on June 5.


Dear School of Film/Video students, faculty and staff,

As you know from Ravi’s email last week, on Saturday, June 5 an older cooling tower on the fifth floor of CalArts A-block overflowed. Several specific locations were impacted. In particular, the Character and Experimental Animation areas (Film/Video) and the Gamelan Room (Music) suffered significant water damage to walls, ceilings and floors as well as cubicles, classrooms, equipment and computers. Thankfully, no one was injured in this incident. 

CalArts Facilities and Film/Video are working together on two parallel tracks right now. First, we are committed to ensuring students, faculty and staff will have the tools, technology and spaces you need to do your work when we return to campus this fall. We are reviewing various spaces for this and will update you as plans develop. 

Second, with the help of the CalArts Facilities team, restoration professionals and our insurance providers, we continue to assess the damage to the three floors of A221 (Character Animation) and to A115 (Experimental Animation). CalArts faculty and staff mobilized very quickly to come to campus on June 5 and have continued to help with tasks necessary to clean up and prepare for renewing this space. We are very grateful for these crucial, immediate actions.  

Additional remediation and abatement continues, with industrial drying equipment and teams removing fixtures, floors and walls that were damaged. We will be engaging an architect to rebuild damaged areas. Please note that there is currently no access to A221, the Character Animation area, due to the remediation, abatement and upcoming renovations. 

While the loss of our spaces and the temporary dislocation are very unfortunate, we will take this opportunity to adapt and improve the technology and facilities of the animation programs and make them more safe, inviting, inspiring and functional. 

We will continue to update you on our progress regularly throughout the process and we will set up a special Animation Facilities webpage on the CalArts site soon that will allow you to virtually drop in to check on progress and get updates.

Thank you to those who have reached out with your concerns. We wish you a safe and relaxing summer and we can’t wait to see you in September.

Abigail Severance                                  Jesse Smith
Interim Dean                                           Vice President for 
School of Film/Video                              Operations and Facilities