Renovating a Landmark
Roger Brown | University Relations | 20 January 2012
The McKay Foyer renovation is an effort to enhance and more effectively use this special space.
The McKay Foyer is currently undergoing construction that will result in the space on either side of the main foyer serving as offices and a classroom/reception room. Part of the office space will be used to house the McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding. The project began in late December and is scheduled to be completed in March.
The foyer, named after President David O. McKay, has long served as the center of BYU–Hawaii. Built in 1958 as one of the first facilities of the Church College of Hawaii, it exists to help students and visitors know the purpose and the history of BYU–Hawaii. The core features of the foyer, two murals at either end of the interior and the mosaic on the exterior, will remain intact. In fact, the design of the project is intended to focus attention on the interior murals and their prominent message in the history of the university, and the gospel in Hawaii and Laie. On the south wall is a depiction of High Chiefess Kapiʻolani showing her devotion to Christianity by defying the goddess Pele inside the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island. Opposite on the North wall is a depiction of the dedication of the Hawaiian Islands for the preaching of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. The exterior mosaic shows President McKay at the storied flag-raising ceremony in 1921 when he first envisioned Laie as home to an institution of higher education that serves the Pacific Rim.
Although the wings are being changed, the remodeled foyer will still serve as a visitors' center for guests to the campus, as well as a conduit to the campus academic core – including the McKay Auditorium. Although the foyer is currently closed, campus tours are still available to visitors by calling (808) 675-3917, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.