August 30, 2016

Kimball Hall upgrades include new stage floor

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln completed upgrades to Kimball Recital Hall over the summer that will enhance the facility for patrons and performers.

The most striking change is the new maple wooden stage flooring that is believed to have replaced the original flooring from about 50 years ago.

Even though this visual change will be profound this fall, it’s been a two-year process of updates, according to Mark Nealeigh, facilities and equipment associate.

Updates included:

  • Installing a new classroom A/V system used for teaching large section classes

  • Refurnishing the audience seating with new cushions and upholstery

  • Replacing all the carpet in the auditorium and lower lobby

  • Installing new HVAC components to reduce the variation in humidity and temperature

  • Updating the recording microphones

  • Installing new carpet on the floor and walls of the orchestra pit, replacing the original carpet dating back to 1969. The pit cover and structure was also replaced with a new, custom-built cover.

  • Renovating the patron restrooms in the lower lobby to update the fixtures and styling to a more modern look. Both restrooms will be fitted with new changing tables and ADA compliant toilet stalls.

“Kimball Recital Hall has been at the heart of what we do daily at the Glenn Korff School of Music for almost 50 years, and we hope that through careful stewardship it continues to be our performing home for many decades to come,” said Peter Lefferts, interim director of music. “The investment in refurbishments and improvements that it has enjoyed over the last few years make it an even better space for both performers and audiences to make and experience music, theatre and dance.”

In addition, to further enhance the webcasting that has been taking place inside Kimball Recital Hall the past two years, two more cameras are being added.

“The additions for webcast include two new remotely controlled high-definition cameras that can be positioned anywhere on stage,” said Jeff O’Brien, information technology associate. “By positioning these cameras on the stage, it gives our viewers a more immersive experience. In solo/small group settings we will have better close-ups and playing shots, and in large groups we will be able to embed cameras within the ensemble allowing viewers a truly unique perspective. These cameras also allow us to feature our faculty and student conductors in action.”

Jason Hibbard, Kimball Recital Hall production manager/technical director, is excited about the changes to the building.

“The replacement of the stage has been a special project,” Hibbard said. “To me, the stage is not just a floor. It becomes something more when the lights go out and the performers come on … for those precious few moments, the stage becomes a sacred place, and I’m proud to have all of our (music) faculty and students perform on it for the next 50 years.”