Phase 2 of Tyler Hall Renovation Begins This Fall Amid Phase 1 Completion Celebration

Design work on the final phases of Tyler Hall’s renaissance—modernized studios, lab theatre, classrooms, offices and exterior finishing—is underway, even as work continues toward a grand reopening Oct. 27-30, for Waterman Theatre, Tyler Art Gallery, a two-story music rehearsal hall, a new recording studio and much more.

A state capital appropriation of $18 million makes completion—inside and out—of the college’s fine arts building possible, according to Mitch Fields, associate vice president for facilities services.

Julie Pretzat, dean of the School of Communication, Media and the Arts, said the continued work on Tyler means that many faculty in music and theatre, and some in art, will delay moving back into the fine arts building for at least two more years. She credited faculty members for opting to stay in temporary offices and other workspaces in Hewitt, Lanigan and elsewhere on campus.

As planned, some faculty and staff moved this summer into spaces that were finished in the $22.2 million Phase 1 for the building’s fall reopening.

Student and faculty vocalists will settle into a new choir rehearsal room, and instrumentalists and ensembles will move into new rehearsal spaces. An all-new recording studio will greet sound designers and students in audio recording classes. Most of theatre’s technical faculty, staff and crews will move in.

A new box office, lobby, theatre and art gallery—all with enhanced accessibility—will welcome the public.

Courses in traditional classrooms will be held elsewhere during the additional Tyler work, soon moving into the design phase with consultant Architectural Re­sources of Buffalo.

Phase 2 will include a redesigned lab theatre, updated studios for artistic disciplines, a new costume shop and theatre-support spaces, updated and resized offices, and smart classrooms on the second floor.

The remaining interior work has a $13 million budget, while about $5 million will be devoted to exterior cleaning and finishing, including landscaping, Fields said. Bids for the work are expected to go out in phases starting in September, with an eye toward completion in 2018.

“It’s exciting,” Pretzat said. “Once people see the new spaces, they’re going to be impressed. It will be a real showplace for the college.”

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