The 200 homeless dance students in George Mason University's dance department will have a new temporary home Monday, while a more permanent temporary home is being completed, university officials announced this week.
State fire marshals last month stopped construction on the dance building, one of three modular fine-arts buildings going up beside the university gymnasium to house dance, arts and music and theater students for several years until they can move into a new $6.2 million humanities building.
State funds for the humanities building have been frozen because of a budget crunch.
The holdup to resolve fire exit problems on the modular dance building has left the growing university dance program without an adequate place for its dancers since the start of the academic year Aug. 29.
Students danced briefly on the stage of the university's Harris Theater until actors forced them off, and on a basketball court and small racquet ball court, which they will continue to use this week until a temporary wooden stage is built in the future lounge of the Student Union.
The temporary plywood floor going in the Student Union is expected to hold the dancers until mid- October. At that time the temporary modular building is due to be open and approved by fire marshals, university spokeswoman Helen Ackerman said this week.
"Great, just wonderful... we've been in a holding pattern for a long time, waiting for a building," said Claudia Murphy, head of the dance department.