Westbrook Music Building construction to begin Dec. 19

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Westbrook Music Building construction to begin Dec. 19

Westbrook Music Building plaza view
Sinclair Hille Architects and BNIM
A rendering of the new Westbrook Music Building. The project is scheduled to be completed in spring 2025.

Construction on the highly anticipated Westbrook Music Building is scheduled to begin Dec. 19.

The $75 million project, funded by the Nebraska Legislature through LB 384, will revitalize the southwest corner of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s City Campus. The building, home to the Glenn Korff School of Music, will provide new state-of-the-art facilities for current and future students. The project will include a mix of old and new construction, with renovations of the southwest wing of the current building connecting to approximately 75,000 square feet of new construction.

The project is scheduled for completion in spring 2025.

“We couldn’t be more excited for the new Westbrook project to get underway,” said Alan Mattingly, interim director of the Glenn Korff School of Music. “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.

“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 new building will span across the two parking lots west of the current building, at the corner of 10th and Q streets. Construction will begin with utility work and the demolition of the parking lots. The lots will close on the evening of Dec. 18 to prepare for the work to start. Pedestrians who enter campus from the southwest corner on foot or bike may also need to find alternate routes.

“While the construction may be inconvenient, the people impacted can know they’re supporting a new space for the Glenn Korff School of Music that will be a major improvement for the school,” said Brooke Hay, assistant vice president of University of Nebraska facilities, planning and capital programs. “For the program to have their facilities aligned with the caliber of their program and the delivery of the university’s mission and education. It will be an excellent place.”

Faculty and staff who typically park in the lots in the construction area will be able to park in other comparable lots around campus. The closest A lot to the construction site is located near North 10th and U streets, west of the AKRS Champions Club and the Stadium Drive Garage. For those with reserved spaces, Lot F4 also contains reserved spaces. A limited number of spots in the Stadium Drive Garage may be available.

Westbrook Music Building has been on the construction list for some time, in an effort to make acoustical and other updates to enhance current students’ experiences and attract top talent to Nebraska. When the funding was allocated, analyses showed that a blend between repurposing and new construction was the most cost effective and appropriate solution.

Westbrook’s existing connection to Kimball Recital Hall has been a priority to maintain. The project includes a slate of exciting new updates, in hopes of creating a cutting-edge facility for music and dance. Some of the anticipated features include a recording studio, rehearsal halls, a 300-seat recital hall and refurbished recital facilities, among other things.

Westbrook Music Building interior
Sinclair Hille Architects and BNIM
A rendering of the interior lobby of the new building.

In addition to a transformed interior, the project will create a fresh entrance to campus on the corner of North 10th and Q streets.

“It’s definitely going to be a pretty transformational project,” Hay said. “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.”

Westbrook Music Building west view
Sinclair Hille Architects and BNIM
A mockup of what the new view from the corner of N 10th and Q streets will look like.

On the east side of Westbrook, the university’s iconic columns (previously located by Memorial Stadium) are planned to be placed in the vicinity of 11th and R, near the connection between Westbrook and Kimball Recital Hall. The concept, announced by Chancellor Ronnie Green during his 2022 State of Our University Address, will create a new gateway to campus.

“University Hall was the first and most prominent building on the university’s campus, and as the campus grew, it was the gateway,” Green said in the address. “We will place the columns … creating a new entrance to our campus, one rich in history and brimming with new activity.”

The construction of Westbrook will occur in phases. As new portions of the building are completed, current portions will be removed or renovated. When the north part of the existing building is taken down, it will leave space for additional green space attached to the arts quad.

“This expanded green space will add to the beauty and flow that already exists with the current arts quad, further connecting Architecture Hall, Woods Art Building, Sheldon Museum, Kimball Hall and the Glenn Korff School of Music,” Mattingly said. “It will also create additional opportunities to host outdoor music and dance events, as well as make current events even more special.”

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