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Conservatory of Music Renovation, Expansion Creates Impressive Complex

Dramatic renovation with new construction will nearly double space for the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, making it a world-class facility for students, faculty and the community.

Scheduled for completion in fall 2011, the 15-month project began in July 2010. The plan includes full renovation of buildings formerly owned by the First Congregational United Church of Christ. It also includes renovation of the Conservatory's current home -- Merner-Pfeiffer and Kulas halls.

 
 

Visually Impressive World-Class Facility
Central to the design is a new four-level connector building that will link the church facilities to Merner-Pfeiffer and Kulas halls. A sleek and spacious lobby will serve as a hub in the new building, placing visitors, students and faculty in the midst of practice and teaching areas.

The four-building complex will incorporate bright and open spaces designed for faculty-student and peer-to-peer interactions. It also will have new and updated rehearsal halls, performance areas, classrooms, teaching studios and practice rooms, among other amenities.

When completed, it will have a seamless blend of historic architecture that respects the style and historic significance of each building. In addition, it will create a "front door" to the campus for the 300-plus undergraduate Conservatory students and thousands of participants enrolled in its popular outreach programs.

"The Conservatory renovation and expansion plans will provide a world-class facility for our students, faculty members, guest artists and audiences," said Peter Landgren, director of BW's renowned Conservatory of Music. "It will bring them together in a Conservatory that mirrors the excellence they bring to the study, teaching and performance of music."

Exceptional Opportunities for Learning, Practicing, Performing
Throughout the years, the Conservatory's renowned Bach Festival, music theatre, music and arts-focused programs have garnered national and international attention. Dynamic teaching, exceptional opportunities and professional results have made the Conservatory a proven choice for students aspiring to the best graduate schools, orchestras, operas and theatres, as well as for individuals seeking careers in teaching, arts management and music therapy.

"BW has always had an exemplary record of preparing students for careers in the arts," said BW President Richard Durst. "Now we will have facilities that match the quality of our programs. This is another step forward in providing our students with the types of experiences that enable them to have successful careers in the arts."

The Conservatory renovation and expansion will include:

  • Doubling of Conservatory square footage through acquisition of First Congregational United Church of Christ buildings.
  • Creation of dedicated rehearsal spaces for choral, instrumental and percussion ensembles.
  • Addition of a new rehearsal space/performance hall.
  • Creation of sound-proof practice rooms and teaching studios.
  • Increased number of classrooms.
  • Expansion of current library facilities.

Historical Complex Bridging Past with Present
On-site of the original Lyceum Village, Kulas, Merner-Pfeiffer and the church have a rich history. Lyceum Village was the geographic center of the Lyceum movement in the mid-1820-40s in Berea. Though the movement died out, its emphasis on education was a precursor to the establishment of Baldwin Wallace University.

Today the three buildings with a shared history rooted in education will create a unified, impressive and aesthetic gateway for the campus's southwest entrance. Each one reflects a different architectural style and character. Together with the new building they'll create a dramatic cluster whose complementary and individualistic styles provide backdrop to the ingenuity and artistry of the students, faculty and guest musicians utilizing the complex.

In July Lyceum Square was designated as the Baldwin Wallace University South Campus Historic District by the National Park Service and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The recognition qualified the College for tax credits related to historic preservation.

Environmentally Friendly Geothermal Heating, Cooling
Committed to its leadership role in sustainability, BW has installed 54 geothermal wells for the Conservatory complex. The wells, buried 520 feet underground, will provide energy efficient heating/cooling through the use of the earth as a source of energy.

Installation of the geothermal system for the two Conservatory buildings will provide an annual energy cost savings of over $28,000 and an annual energy saving of 804 million BTU.

A $500,000 grant awarded by the Ohio Department of Development as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's State Energy program will fund geothermal heating/cooling for two Conservatory buildings. The grant is one of only 15 Ohio projects funded. Selection was based on a competitive review process.

"As a teaching institution, we have a responsibility to our students, to the community and to future generations to be a leader in sustainability," said BW President Richard Durst. "We are committed to being educators as well as practitioners on our own campus. This grant is an affirmation of the progress we are making."

Transforming Lives Through Campaign Commitment
Funding of the Conservatory renovation and new construction was a collaborative effort filled with vision and commitment. Part of Transforming Lives: The Campaign for Baldwin Wallace University, the project brought together corporations and foundations, public initiatives, and support from thousands of BW alumni and friends.