Campus architect Bruce Koenigsberg said that he hopes to publish drawings of the new conservatory building after the board of trustees meets on Feb. 13.
One of Wheaton’s strategic priorities for the 2015-2016 year is to “enhance music and the performing arts” through constructing a new building to house the Wheaton College Conservatory. Wheaton’s website identifies this as a “much needed” project that will improve the performing arts experience for performers and concertgoers alike.
The college has partnered with Hammel, Green and Abrahamson (HGA) and FGM, two architecture firms from Minneapolis and Oakbrook, respectively. HGA is a well-established national firm and FGM has worked with Wheaton for over 20 years.
Wheaton College Conservatory alumnus and acoustician Marcus Mayell ‘11 of Threshold Acoustics is also a part of the design team. Mayell has worked on numerous nationally recognized buildings, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. He has also designed numerous concert halls in Canada. Koenigsberg stated, “It has been a pleasure to have Marcus involved as an alum of the Conservatory.”
Koenigsberg’s role as campus architect is to manage the design team as a representative of Wheaton College. He has been working closely with Michael Wilder, dean of the Conservatory, and Randy Norbeck, director of construction services.
According to Koenigsberg, the current estimated cost is 60 million. With some alumni threatening to withdraw donations to Wheaton due to the situation regarding Larycia Hawkins, it is unclear how the funding for the new Conservatory building will be affected.
Koenigsberg could not comment on the financial impact but stated, “Our conservatory students have endured substandard facilities for too long and deserve this new facility designed specifically for acoustical performances.”
Construction is currently set to begin fall 2016, with occupancy one year later. A new addition to Armerding Hall would follow as soon as adequate funding is received.