Construction Continues on Outdoor Theater

Construction Continues on Outdoor Theater

This shows a stage-eye view of the seating for the proposed outdoor theater.

The sound of heavy equipment fills the air and surrounds students going to classes as construction continues in the middle of campus. The new outdoor theater, part of Southwestern’s campus center project, is set to finish sometime this semester, according to President Eric Anderson.

“It has taken longer than we had originally anticipated, but we are hoping to be done by the end of October,” he says.

Located in the center of campus between Barron Hall and the cafeteria, the new theater will be used for concerts, programs and other various campus events. “It will be a sort of social gathering space. I see the site being an exciting and interesting place for students to gather and socialize,” says Gary Temple, vice president for university advancement.

Campus services, grounds and administration have been working with the contractors of The Beck Group of Dallas on the University’s new outdoor amphitheater-like landscape.

“There has been a number of changes made to the original plans, which is why it has taken us longer than we have wanted it to take,” Anderson says. Administration has added wider sidewalks on the west end to try to improve traffic flow between Pechero Hall and the Mabee Center. On the east end, there is now a semi-circle of flags and a decorative retaining wall.

One of the major issues being discussed, Anderson says, is about drainage and what needs to be done in case there is heavy rain.

The project has been at work since deep planning began 26 months ago. “It’s worth spending the extra time to make sure the job gets done right,” Anderson says.

Administration is planning to have a dedication ceremony once the project is completed, which they hope, at the latest, will be before Christmas.

Anderson says they will possibly have additional projects, such as adding a cover shell, down the road once the theater is completed.

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  1. Mark
    September 29, 05:03 Reply
    Hi my wife and i were flicking through the different University blogs to try to keep in touch with what's going on in Keene, now that we live in Australia and noticed the new works... Looks like it will be a welcomed addition to the university open space areas. What we are wondering is, is there somewhere with finished concept pictures that we can look at. Thanks in advance Mark
  2. Samantha Spalitta
    October 12, 16:36 Reply
    Mark, My apologies for the delayed response. Yes, we are really looking forward to having the new area. I think it will be a perfect outdoor space to use for campus activities. Regarding a picture of the plans here is a link the story Dr. Robinson wrote earlier this year on the project, which includes a sketch of the proposed layout: I will check with Dr. Anderson to see if he has anything else we can show you. And we will be posting pictures soon once the project is complected. I will keep you updated. Thanks for your response, Samantha

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