University News

PAC Design Schematics Available to View

September 11, 2008

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University personnel and community members got to see what the proposed Performing Arts Center facility would look like and how it would fit into the southwest quadrant of campus during an Aug. 19 presentation of the schematic design. These designs can be viewed at

Charles Smith of O'Donnell, Wicklund, Pigozzi, and Peterson (OWP/P) of Chicago and Phoenix, the lead architectural firm; and Mitch Hirsch of Pelli Clarke Pelli (PCP) of New Haven, CT, the building designer firm, were on campus to make the presentations.

Hirsch and members of the PCP design team reviewed for some 75 University and community people in attendance several boards with floor-by-floor schematics of the 120,000 square feet center, as well as a 1/16th scale model. Floor plans, cut-out sections of the main auditorium and an orchestra shell as well as proposed building materials and colors were presented.

The Performing Arts Center will include a 1,400-seat proscenium theatre auditorium with two balconies, a 250-seat thrust stage and a 150-seat studio theatre. There also will be dance, jazz, theatre rehearsal studios; dressing rooms adjacent to the theatres, a scenery/design workshop and a costume shop, administration offices and a loading dock which will accommodate semis and busses for professional touring companies and orchestras.

"People are now able to see plans and are beginning to become excited," said College of Fine Arts and Communication Dean Paul Kreider. "The model and schematics PCP presented make it easier to visualize what an impressive and important addition this center will be to Western, Macomb and western Illinois."

The new facility, which has been designed with five welcoming "fronts," would enhance and strengthen the campus by creating a new quadrangle between the Browne Hall/PAC building, Memorial, Simpkins and Corbin halls, according to Hirsch.

The next (third) phase, design development, looks at each piece of the building in a detailed way. The details of interior spaces are refined during this phase and ideas for the character of the interior spaces are developed.

"These next few months are when our campus/community committee and the PCP design team will work together to finalize design details and fine-tune the interior spaces, optimizing them as rehearsal and performance venues," Kreider said.

The final phase before constuction, the construction documents, will be done by the executive architects OWP&P of Chicago, Hirsch added. They will develop the technical documents that will be used to bid the project and to build the Performing Arts Center.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations