Krannert Center to begin exterior renovations


The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts will undergo exterior maintenance renovations starting in October.

By Daily Illini Staff Report

The first phase of a renovation project at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts will begin in October, after approval from the Board of Trustees at its Sept. 11 meeting.

The Board approved a contract of about $3 million to the Otto Baum Company Inc., Decatur, Ill. Construction will focus on the exterior of the building, specifically the Playhouse and Studio theaters. According to the resolution, the project is funded by the Academic Facilities Maintenance Fund Assessment and institutional fund operating budget.

The work will include: the development of concrete masonry unit back-up walls, face brick reconstruction and cavity wall insulation. There will also be some minor interior finish work to address areas of water damage.

Randy Greever, the Center’s chief building operations engineer, said that the project has been in the works for a few years.

“If we did nothing, the building would start, exterior-wise, would actually start crumbling. We’re stopping and reversing damage is what we’re doing,” he said. “We don’t want to change the outside of the building; it’s kind of a unique facility. We’re just trying to keep it and preserve it.”

He added that this is only the first phase of the project, and it was chosen based on the amount of money available and the small size of the project. He estimated that the entire project will cost roughly $8 to 9 million.

Unlike the renovations being done at Assembly Hall, Greever said, the Krannert renovations are about maintenance more than “beautifying.” 

“Construction methods have changed so much since it was built, so now if we use modern materials and modern techniques, instead of getting 50 years out of it we’re hoping to get 100 years out of it,” he added. “We’re just trying to make sure this building’s here for a long time.”

Greever said construction will hopefully begin on Oct. 1 and end in August 2015, before students return for the fall semester. During that time, Krannert patrons may experience some disruptions.

“I just hope all the patrons for the next year will bear with us, because we’re going to have large fences, a lot of construction, a lot of noise and we’re not slowing down anything,” he said. “We’re not stopping anything going on performance-wise.”