About the Project
Despite the challenging winter weather, construction continues on the new academic complex on the Westminster Choir College campus.
The complex will be named the Marion Buckelew Cullen Center in honor of the philanthropist who made a $5 million bequest to Westminster Choir College. “We are grateful to Dr. Cullen, who served for several years as a Westminster Choir College trustee and was a devoted advocate for the Choir College and its mission, for her generosity and vision,” says Westminster Choir College Dean Robert Annis.
The new building will contain a 3,000-square-foot performance and rehearsal hall, which will be named the Hillman Performance Hall, in recognition of the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, which provided a $3 million grant to support the project. In addition to the performance/rehearsal hall, the Cullen Center will include a large lobby, a green room and three flexibly configured classrooms that will accommodate a wide range of academic and choral uses. It will be located beside The Playhouse, creating a new quadrangle and courtyard that will be a primary outdoor venue for Westminster student and alumni events. Its design was inspired by the Georgian style of the four original buildings surrounding the Morgan Quadrangle.
Funding for the $8 million project will be provided by pledges, gifts and grants from various sources.
The Cullen Center will include an integrated connection to The Playhouse that will provide improved audience access and amenities. To maximize the opportunities the project offers for enhancing The Playhouse itself, a campaign is under way to secure $1.5 million to upgrade this building that has played such an important role in Westminster’s history.
About the construction process
During the next year, everyone should be aware of certain adjustments we are making on the campus to ensure the safety and security of everyone while we build the beautiful new center.
Construction activity starts daily at roughly 8 a.m. and runs through approximately 4 p.m. Monday – Friday.
Traffic and Parking
To ensure safe access for construction vehicles, we will be adjusting the traffic patterns and some parking areas.
The roadway between the Student Center and Seabrook Hall (this roadway connects to Walnut Street) will become the main access point for all construction vehicles. During the construction period parking on that roadway will be limited and new crosswalks and safety barriers will be installed. All students, faculty, staff and visitors are reminded to please observe the new safety patterns when walking across that driveway.
Some parking spaces currently being used by the Conservatory will be utilized for construction vehicles during normal working hours. If you regularly park there during construction hours (8 a.m. – 4 p.m.), please be patient.
There is a limited number of new parking spaces added behind Dayton Hall. Regular parking restrictions will be applicable to those spaces and campus parking permits are required.
Walking and Driving Through Campus
The entire construction area has been fenced off and students, faculty, staff and visitors may not have access to the construction area at any time.
Please observe the temporary fences and barriers and walk in the new crosswalks when walking through campus.
As the construction progresses, there will be times that require additional temporary parking changes. Please observe all temporary parking restrictions and understand they are just that: temporary.
Please note that the doors at the back of The Playhouse (facing the Cottage) are for emergency exit only. Everyone going to The Playhouse should use the doors facing Taylor Hall or the back of the stage.
While we will work to minimize the noise disruptions that come with construction, occasional increases in the noise level cannot be avoided. Please be patient with us as we build our new center.
Sketches & Photos