Hoffman Construction of Portland has been named the general contractor for the $12.2 million project. Construction is expected to begin in May with completion scheduled for summer 2003.
The new library and theatre will be housed in a 73,000-square-foot building on Linfield's Keck Campus, more than doubling the size of the current Northup Library and the theatre facilities in Pioneer Hall.
The library/theatre project is the most ambitious in Linfield's history in terms of size and cost. It is the largest single project of the college's current capital campaign "Linfield The Defining Moment."
"This project will strengthen Linfield's liberal arts mission as no other capital project has done," Linfield President Vivian A. Bull said. "The library and theatre facility will be the centerpiece of a new Arts Quad which enhances the college's vision of the liberal arts."
Susan Barnes Whyte, Linfield librarian, and Brenda DeVore Marshall, chair of the Theatre and Communication Arts Department, said they were finally realizing a goal they had been working toward for years.
"The new library is the culmination of dreams, ideas and hard work by the Linfield community," Whyte said. "Our new facility will combine the historical mission of a library with the technology-rich information landscape of Linfield's future."
Marshall said the awarding of the contract marked the most exciting moment in the 15 years she has been a member of the Linfield community.
"It is almost impossible to articulate the positive differences this facility will make in our students' ability to gain theoretical and practical knowledge about theatre and in the ability
for our faculty to realize their creative potential in their chosen profession," she said. "Because of the vision, dedication and hard work by many people, Linfield students will soon work and learn in one of the finest facilities in the Northwest."
The new library will cover 56,000 square feet and will combine traditional collections of books and journals with the new and changing digital and electronic technology to provide access to the web and web-based databases. Seating for up to 500 students, in both individual and group study spaces, will relieve the acute shortage that exists today. It will ultimately accommodate some 35 computer work stations for patrons, compared to the present 15. In addition, patrons who bring their own laptops, or check out those available at the library, will have wireless access to the campus network, the Internet and the world wide web.
The new Educational Media Services area will have a soundproof viewing room, individual listening and viewing booths, a media production lab, a satellite down-link, carrels and a large viewing room with multimedia capabilities and Internet access.
The new theatre will serve the Linfield theatre program, which has received national acclaim despite woefully inadequate facilities. The facility will include a flexible studio theatre with audience seating capacity of up to 140, more than double the current facility in Pioneer Hall. It will include space for set construction and design as well as faculty offices. By using movable risers, the theatre itself will accommodate staging in three configurations: the classical proscenium or end theater, with the audience facing a stage; theatre-in-the-round; and "thrust" staging, with the audience on three sides.
The new facility will meet a variety of needs for the Theatre and Communication Arts Department. A "living room" off the lobby can be used for lobby overflow, gatherings, classes and small performances such as readings. A design classroom will be open 24 hours to allow students to work. A forensics lab will provide work space for speech and debate teams and will double as a small classroom. A "green room" the traditional gathering place for costumed actors waiting to go on stage will also be used to prepare food props and will serve as a site for post-performance gatherings, for meetings and as a seminar room.