ROCHESTER, NY — The next step in the Eastman School of Music’s historically sensitive renovation to the Eastman Theatre stage has taken place, with the School recently awarding all the contracts for the $5 million project — the vast majority to firms and organizations in the greater Rochester area.
Seven local firms — out of eight total — will play a part in the renovation of the Eastman Theatre stage, which includes a new custom shell that will allow for more flexibility and improved acoustics; a greatly improved orchestra pit, with all-new mechanics and hydraulics; new and sophisticated rigging; and dramatically improved stage lighting. The firms selected to do the work are Christa Construction; DeClerck Flooring; Tyron Painting; Davis-Ulmer Sprinkler; Billitier Electric; Postler & Jaeckle (HVAC); and Hoffend & Sons, which is responsible for the new orchestra shell and stage rigging. The only non-local contract was awarded to Gala Lift, a firm based in California that specializes in stage lifts.
“The bids for all aspects of the job were very competitive,” said James Undercofler, director and dean of the Eastman School. “We’re extremely pleased that nearly all of the renovations to the stage will be done by the talents of local workers.
Actual construction is scheduled to begin July 1, 2004. The entire Theatre will be “dark” (not in use) and off-limits to the public through the summer and into the early fall as crews begin their work in the physical space. The project is targeted to be completed by October 1, 2004.
The renovation of Eastman Theatre stage, announced publicly in February 2003, is the first of two phases of renovations planned for the 3,094-seat Theatre that opened in 1922. Based on designs by Rochester architectural firm of Macon Chaintreuil Jensen & Stark, the greatly improved stage will enhance the experience — visually, acoustically, and practically — for performers and audiences alike. Additionally, it will complement the aesthetic treatment of the Theatre’s house, better serve the very real needs of performers, and simply function more efficiently and safely.