Home Faculty meeting So far so good with the construction of a new hall at W&M – Daily Press

So far so good with the construction of a new hall at W&M – Daily Press


Construction of Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall is on schedule, within budget, and expected to be completed by mid-January.

Part of the new Center for Fine and Performing Arts at the College of William & Mary, the theater building will retain its name, while the new music building has yet to be named.

“We are currently on budget ($138.8m) but recognize that we still have approximately six months to go and continue to see inflationary pressures and supply chain issues which could impact the final cost” , wrote Amy Sebring, the college’s chief operating officer. E-mail.

An underground tunnel will connect the music and theater buildings, “serving as a link in the event of bad weather”, explained Suzanne Clavet, director of information and media at the college.

Also, the lettering – Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall – removed from the exterior of the building before construction began, “may be used indoors,” Sebring said.

She added that the college’s lease on the Kimball Theater in Merchants Square will expire in June 2023 “and based on the construction schedule, we do not expect to renew the lease.”

Once both buildings are completed. a “series of activities including commissioning of building systems and installation of furniture and equipment will be completed,” Clavet explained. The tentative move-in schedule will be before the end of the spring 2023 semester, but the first use of the space for academic purposes will be in the fall of 2023, she said.

The new PBK hall will include a main theater and a small theater studio, as well as classroom and seminar space, as well as an art and construction space, costume and conservation rooms and a new space for recitals, rehearsals and dance.

Space in the new music building will include a recital hall, choir rehearsal space and recording studio. Also included will be an electronic music lab, keyboard lab, music library, and digital projects lab, as well as an instrumental rehearsal space, specialized percussion studio, and instrumental storage space. There will also be a faculty office, classrooms and practice space.

In the 1920s, the original Phi Beta Kappa Hall (now Ewell Hall) stood on the former William & Mary campus surrounding the Sunken Garden and adjacent to the campus. The building’s auditorium was burned down in 1953.

Later a new building was constructed on Jamestown Road and named Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall which was partially demolished in 2019-20.

PBK’s national headquarters was at the college, but was moved to Washington, D.C. after the fire of 1953. However, a section of the memorial hall was reserved for the headquarters of the college’s Alpha of Virginia chapter, the first organization of the society. Sebring said the Alpha of Virginia chapter “will have its [new] house in Ewell Hall following the planned renovation of this space. We currently do not have a start date for this project.

PBK Memorial Hall was hastily completed in the fall of 1956 so that it could serve as a meeting place for the 1957 National Governors Conference which had been invited to Virginia and Williamsburg for the 350th anniversary of the Jamestown Colony in 1607 .

The hall stage was set up for meetings as it was the largest meeting area in Williamsburg at the time.

In March 1957, the first activity on the hall’s new stage was the William & Mary Theater production of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, starring Linda Lavin, class of 1959. Lavin won a Tony Award in 1987 in Neil Simon Bound for Broadway. She also had the lead role in the CBS TV show “Alice.”

Another college comedian, Glenn Close, Class of 1974, also performed on the old PBK stage as a student. Later, she won three Tony Awards for Broadway productions and eight Oscar nominations.