The Howard L. Schrott Center for the Performing and Visual Arts will open this spring on schedule.
Senior project manager Craig Hardee said most of the summer construction took place inside the center itself, as the outside structure is nearly complete.
The exterior site work also concluded this summer, and the surrounding parking lots and sidewalks will be open for classes this week.
The inside of the center features a stage with an intimate seating capacity of around 400. The hall is significantly smaller than Clowes Memorial Hall, which seats 2,000 people, but the new stage will nearly equal the size of that in Clowes.
Hardee said even the back row of seats is close to the action on stage in such a small-seating hall.
“In a smaller hall, the audience will be full, and the students will be able to interact with the audience in a way that supports their educational mission,” he said.
Ronald Caltabiano, dean of the Jordan College of Fine Arts, explained that the Schrott Center was built to provide students with a smaller, more realistic rehearsal and performance space for JCFA ensembles.
He added that classrooms will also claim space at the center to provide students with hands-on learning.
In addition, Caltabiano said the Schrott Center will house an art gallery to showcase student projects.
Howard Schrott, a Board of Trustees member and sponsor of the Schrott Center, described the facility as a positive addition to Butler’s campus.
“I fell in love with the concept of having this facility and all the good that I think it will do so many people,” he said.
“I was so happy to be involved with this project and be a lead benefactor, but by large, this has been the university’s project.”
Hardee also expressed his gladness to have had a hand in the project.
“It’s really gratifying and exciting to be a part of something that is going to directly change people’s lives in a very positive way,” he said.
The cost of the project, Hardee estimated, is currently running at about $15 million.
The Schrott Center is currently in the running for the U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification.
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, recognizes buildings and centers that effectively implement green design and environmentally friendly practices.
The Schrott Center has reached silver certification thus far in construction. Hardee said they are working towards the gold certification by implementing functional technology to reduce waste and environmental cost.