WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Flexibility is Key to Western Illinois University's Performing Arts Center

MACOMB, IL – Architects are touting the flexibility the proposed Performing Arts Center will offer Western Illinois University.

The building's multiple theaters and rehearsal spaces will provide settings for small ensembles and dance performances all the way up to orchestral programs and operas.

Consultant Joseph Myers of Kirkegaard Associates said audiences will feel they are in an intimate setting whatever the attendance. He said seating in each theater is divided between different levels. Unused levels can be kept dark. He said, "When they're not opened you just turn the lights out and for people who are coming into the room you're simply not aware of those spaces."

Myers said the largest theater will offer fine-tuning of its acoustics through a combination of orchestra shells, sound-absorbing panels and reflectors. The largest theater will seat 1,400 people on three levels.

Construction on WIU's performing arts center will begin in 2013. The center is expected to open in the fall of 2015

The presentation on the design for the performing arts center attracted 35 visitors to Tri-States Public Radio's performance studio.