The College of Arts and Architecture
View from Curtain

History and Timeline

August 2010 – Westlake Reed Leskosky was hired to do a study of Esber and to develop a master plan for the college.

August 2011 – the College Master Plan for facilities was approved by the University. A new recital hall was among the top priorities in the college master plan and funding was approved to begin the programming phase, to gain a clearer idea of costs. Westlake Reed was retained to assist.

January 2012 – the 150-page “programming document” was completed with details about the music renovation and new construction.  

September 2013 – The Board of Trustees took action on the Music proposal, placing the project on the official 5-year capital plan (still no funding, but inching closer).

Fall 2014 – state funding was approved, and we began giving tours to acousticians and architects while waiting for the state to develop an electronic submissions platform.

August 26, 2015 – the state issued the call for proposals from architectural firms to design a recital hall, with proposals due Sept. 3rd.

September 16, 2015 – the state uploaded proposals (40 were received) and the PSU Core Team had until September 23rd to forward our feedback to the state selection committee.

October 30, 2015 – the state selected a design team – Bostwick Design Partnership with William Rawn Associates, Talaske and Theatre Project Consultants. We were thrilled!

January 2016 – We began meeting with the design team, and within a month it was clear that we needed to limit the scope of the program (removing some hope-for remodeling and eliminating a multi-use classroom) – with lots and lots of meetings over the next 18 months.

April 2016 – A construction manager (PJ Dick) is selected ­ – the company that will oversee all the construction and renovation work.

Spring 2017 – Bid documents are completed in February and a pre-bid meeting with potential bidders is held on March 1st, with bids opened in early April.

April 18, 2017 – Penn State’s PDR (Planning and Development Review Board) gave approval for the project to be presented to the Board of Trustees on May 5, when it is given a green light.

June 1, 2017 – site work began. Trees come down in a dramatic fashion!

June-July, 2017 – new windows are installed in Music I and asbestos abatement challenged everyone in Music I (in preparation for new HVAC and sprinkler systems and floor tiles). Noisy and messy, but the offices stayed open.

June 27, 2017 ­ – piano faculty traveled to the Steinway factory and selected two Hamburg Steinway pianos for the new Recital Hall.

July 24-26, 2017 – the Holtkamp organ is removed, to find a new home at the Park Forest Methodist Church.

August 1, 2018 – Substantial completion

August 31, 2018 - final completion expected