FAQ: Music & Performance Commons

Why this project and why now?

The music & performance addition is identified as one of the top-priority initiatives emerging from Carleton’s Strategic Plan and Facilities Master Plan. The 35-million-dollar addition will house the majority of the music program and create a new performance space of high acoustic quality to replace the existing Concert Hall. These facilities will support a broad range of curricular and co-curricular music and performance needs and will further integrate creativity across the disciplines as rehearsal spaces, the music resource library, and teaching studios are relocated to this space.

What is the parking plan to accommodate the new addition?

The College does not expect a large increase in parking, either by the additional staff who will work in the building or for public events held in the new performance space. The parking plan for the new addition is consistent with the conditional use permit (CUP) and original Weitz Center parking plan. Carleton will continue to use the 29 parking stalls adjacent to the west side of the building for faculty and staff parking. The College also has plenty of parking available at the lot on Second and College that was constructed after the opening of the Weitz in 2011 for both faculty and staff and for public events at the Weitz Center. On-street parking is also available for Weitz functions and is part of the original Weitz Center parking plan and CUP.

How will the music addition relate to Central Park?

The new addition is being designed to complement the 1910 original school building and perimeter scaled to integrate with surrounding uses. Entrance to the new addition will be through the main doors off 3rd Street (there is no other entry to the addition). The College will continue to be considerate of the Central Park and has no intentions of filling it with classes or anything else related to Weitz programming. Students are encouraged to not use the playground equipment, and to be sensitive to other users of the park at all times.

How is the project addressing sound and lighting at night coming from within the building?

The new addition will utilize state-of-the-art sound proofing to ensure a quiet surrounding outside the building. After 10 p.m., lights inside the Weitz Center Commons are reduced by 40 percent. The new addition is being designed in a way to minimize night light. Windows in the new addition facing the park are primarily staff offices where lights will be off when not in use and the windows will have blinds installed.

What is the timetable for the project?

Construction began in May 2016 and will be completed in time for the opening of school in Fall of 2017. More details are available on the Facilities Management website.

What should the neighborhood expect during construction and what will the College do to mitigate noise and disruption?

The initial stage of construction will include digging and moving large amounts of dirt. Once the area is cleared and ready for construction, we estimate there will be between 30-40 workers on site. Generally, work will begin after 7:00 a.m. and stop before 5:00 p.m.

Will the community have access to the new addition?

Carleton has a long-standing tradition of offering a variety of free public events and that will continue when the new addition is built. The College averages 1,000 free public lectures/athletic events/speakers/cultural events each academic year, several of them at the Weitz Center. Carleton also accommodates many community events at the Weitz Center during times when classes are not in session and contributes more than $10,000 of in-kind donations annually to non-profit community groups for their events at the Weitz Center.