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Ren­o­va­tions on Plaster Audi­torium (for­merly Phillips Audi­torium) are set to be fin­ished by Sep­tember. Regan Meyer | Col­legian

Con­struction of the new Plaster Audi­torium is pro­jected to finish Sept. 1, 2019, just days before the first CCA.

Chief Admin­is­trative Officer Rich Péwé said the con­struction has been mostly free of set­backs. The pro­jected com­pletion date has not changed since the college broke ground on the new con­struction in August 2018.

“We haven’t planned any­thing in there for Sep­tember 1,” Péwé said. “But it should be done. Of course, there are always set­backs and issues, but nothing that we haven’t be able to deal with.”

Péwé said Markel Audi­torium and Howard Music Hall have both been heavily used for events during the auditorium’s recon­struction.

“This will allow us to take some of the pressure off of Markel,” Péwé said. “When we have jazz events, we can put them in Plaster. That way, theater will have more oppor­tunity. We won’t have to do one or the other.”

The Dow Hotel has seen an increase in reser­va­tions for the Searle Center since the beginning of con­struction on Plaster. During 2017, Plaster, for­merly known as Phillips Audi­torium, was used 150 dif­ferent times for every­thing ranging from sorority recruitment events to ath­letic team pre­sen­ta­tions. Director of Hos­pi­tality Oper­a­tions for the Dow Hotel Aaron Tracey said not having Phillips Audi­torium available has increased the workload for the hotel staff.

“Phillips was very helpful and con­ve­nient because it was already set up for a lecture pre­sen­tation,” Tracey said. “Now, we don’t have an audi­torium where people can sit down and listen. What we have to do is set up chairs for that pre­sen­tation; we have to set up a pro­jector for that pre­sen­tation.”

The com­pletion of Plaster Audi­torium will give the hotel some breathing room when they schedule events.

“We are def­i­nitely looking forward to having Plaster Audi­torium com­pleted so that CCAs and large lec­tures for the college can be done without any of our setup,” Tracey said.

Exec­utive Director of Admin­is­trative Affairs Tim Wells said Tracey and his staff have handled the addi­tional workload quite well and said he looks forward to the com­pletion of the project.

“With the com­pletion of this project, we’re antic­i­pating many more requests for the space,” Wells said in an email. “Searle may not have been able to accom­modate all of the needs that Phillips Audi­torium for­merly met; however, we are all excited for this project’s com­pletion and are already antic­i­pating how it can best be used in sup­porting the College and its mission.”