New Construction

University of Nebraska–Lincoln to Start Construction on New Music Building

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has announced a start date for construction on new facilities for its Glenn Korff School of Music. Work on the Westbrook Music Building is scheduled to start on Monday, Dec. 19, with an estimated completion date of spring 2025, according to university news. The project consists of renovations to one wing of the existing building, which will connect to about 75,000 square feet of new construction.

“We couldn’t be more excited for the new Westbrook project to get underway. The plans and designs for this new building are extraordinary and will impact our faculty, our staff, our students, and our community in many incredible ways,” said the School of Music’s interim director, Alan Mattingly. “The Glenn Korff School of Music looks forward to being an important gateway onto UNL’s campus, where our ability to teach, learn, engage, and connect will be enhanced for years to come.”

The project comes with a $75-million price tag and will be funded by the Nebraska Legislature via LB 384. New amenities will include a recording studio, rehearsal halls, a recital hall with 300 seats, and refurbished recital facilities, university news reports. The renovations will also maintain the existing building’s crucial connection to Kimball Recital Hall.

The new building will replace two parking lots to the west of the existing facility. Construction will take place in phases; existing portions of buildings will be removed or renovated as others are complete. The new facility will also leave room for green space attached to the adjoining arts quad.

“It’s definitely going to be a pretty transformational project,” said Brooke Hay, assistant vice president of the university’s facilities, planning, and capital programs. “If you think about what that corner is like right now, it’s primarily a parking lot. Now, it’s going to be a building really right there toward the corner, making it more of an urban type of campus edge. It will definitely change the face of the university on that corner.”

Local news reports that the current facility faces detriments like lack of space, lack of sound isolation and proper acoustic spaces, and correct humidification for instrument storage. It also lacks ADA compliance and an elevator sufficient to carry larger instruments.

“It’s a lot of the little things,” said Mattingly. “The temperature doesn’t stay consistent throughout the building. Air leaks in, and that’s bad for musical instruments. The acoustics could be better. Just the amount of space that we have, it’s starting to feel a little tight. Overall, it’s showing its age, and it’s not doing what it really needs to do for a comprehensive music program.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].