Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Brook Street dorms, Lindemann Performing Arts Center set for fall 2023 completion

Churchill House renovations will also finish by fall

<p>Both the Brook Street dorms and the Lindemann Performing Arts Center are on track for completion in the fall, according to Paul Dietel, assistant vice president of planning, design &amp; construction.</p>

Both the Brook Street dorms and the Lindemann Performing Arts Center are on track for completion in the fall, according to Paul Dietel, assistant vice president of planning, design & construction.

Since fall 2019, passers-by on Angell Street have watched the construction of the coming Lindemann Performing Arts Center. Similarly, a closed-off passage of Brook Street and two buildings that rapidly emerged between fall 2021 and this spring offer a reminder of two new Brook Street dorms, including the William and Ami Danoff Residence Hall.

Come this fall, both projects will be complete — along with a long-planned renovation at Churchill House, home to the Department of Africana Studies, wrote Paul Dietel, assistant vice president of Facilities Management for planning, design and construction, in an email to The Herald. And with over 40 active construction projects, many other renewals and renovations will be completed in the coming year.   

Brook Street and Lindemann enter final stages of construction

Both the dorms and the performing arts center remain on track for completion in the fall, Dietel wrote. The dorms are sealed from weather conditions, “with interior finishes proceeding at a rapid pace,” though they still require additional exterior brick masonry and window installation, he added. 


As the residential space nears completion, the project’s ground floor retail space has been left unfinished for a future tenant to “perform their own construction ‘fit-out,’ ” Dietel wrote. Retail tenant selection is under review, as well as the construction and opening timeline for the space’s eventual occupants, he added. 


In Lindemann, interior work — including “painting, flooring, tile work, electrical, plumbing and overall finishes” — is also in progress and expected to conclude in the next few months, after which “exterior landscaping and final building facade details” will be completed, Dietel wrote. 

The University expects major construction work on the performing arts center to wrap up by April, after which a certificate of occupancy will be obtained from the city to allow Brown personnel to enter for “testing and tuning of performance spaces," he noted.


That testing will include trial runs of different configurations of the balconies, seating and stages, Dietel wrote. The “tuning period” will run from March to September, wrote Avery Willis Hoffman, artistic director of the Brown Arts Institute, in an email to The Herald. 

Lindemann encompasses “a complex set of moving parts,” Hoffman wrote. Individuals responsible for operating the building will undergo thorough training from expert technicians, she added. 

According to Hoffman, the center’s main hall has five configurations, and each will be tested with input from artists, acoustics experts and specific groups that will use the configurations, such as the Brown University Orchestra. 

While the tuning process will not be open to the public, configurations will be tested with invited audiences, Hoffman wrote. In March, construction fencing around the building will be replaced with “signage explaining the parameters of the tuning period” and inviting community members to be part of test audiences during the “later part of spring and summer.”

“We have every hope of being ready and open for classes starting in September,” Hoffman wrote.


Dietel also wrote that he anticipates that Olive Street and the adjacent sidewalk on Angell Street will reopen to pedestrian traffic as construction wraps up — “as early as March or April.”  

‘It’s been a home’: Africana Studies department awaits return to Churchill House

Since July 2022, renovations have been underway on Churchill House, home to the Department of Africana Studies. When the building reopens in fall 2023, it will include a roughly 3,000-square-foot addition, a new terrace and an accessible entrance on the building’s west side, according to the Department of Facilities Management website

With “program and faculty growth” in the Africana Studies department and the building “in need of renewal,” a study from fall 2020 and spring 2021 examined renovations and ways to “celebrate the program’s visibility” in the University community and beyond, Dietel wrote. Design work began in November 2021. 

Get The Herald delivered to your inbox daily.

Churchill House also is home to Rites and Reason Theatre in addition to Africana Studies. Both have been temporarily relocated to Andrews House, The Herald previously reported

Compared to the new facilities and equipment of its neighbors at Lindemann and the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Churchill House “was definitely old” and “in need of updates and repairs … and some love,” said Alonzo Jones, technical director and manager of Rites and Reason. The building’s masonry needed work, a portion of the ceiling inside the theater had fallen down two years ago and outdated outlets contributed to electrical issues, he added. 

The renovations also include a new elevator, restroom and stairwell, along with new mechanical systems to improve accessibility and safety, Dietel wrote — in addition to new equipment for the theater. Renovations are expected to be complete by Fall 2023, according to the website.

For the department, the renovations will create more space for professors and graduate students to collaborate, Jones said. With professors with specialties in different disciplines and spread across departments, including history and economics, “we wanted everybody to be … closer together and in the same building,” he added. 

With some department faculty working from home or other office spaces on campus, “you only see a handful of people because everybody is so dispersed,” Jones said.

“Churchill House, Rites and Reason Theatre (and) the Africana Studies Department (have) been a welcome space to so many people … it’s been a home,” Jones said. “Being able to get back into the building … is just gonna be awesome.”

Other active projects

Along with major construction projects, there are also several active general campus projects scheduled for completion between the current fiscal year, which began on July 1, 2022, and the end of the 2025 fiscal year, which ends on June 30, 2025. These projects are part of Facilities Management’s annual renewal program, which chooses projects from “ongoing surveys of existing conditions,” Dietel wrote. 

Rasquinha_Construction_CO_Kaiolena Tacazon.jpg

Construction of an entrance ramp at the John Carter Brown Library’s west entrance remains in progress, as temporary railings were installed after supply chain issues delayed the installation of permanent railings, Dietel wrote. Facilities Management expects the installation to be completed this spring, along with final landscaping when warmer weather begins. The renovation aims to improve the building’s accessibility, The Herald previously reported

While “global supply chain disruptions continue to be a challenge for current projects on campus,” Dietel wrote that his team has avoided delays by ordering materials early and working creatively with vendors and suppliers. Planning, design and construction orders materials “in phases tied to completion of design documents,” he explained, and timing varies depending on supply chain reliability and the size and complexity of a project. 

Rhea Rasquinha

Rhea Rasquinha is a Metro Section Editor covering Development and Infrastructure and also serves as Co-Chief of Illustrations. She previously covered the College Hill, Fox Point & the Jewelry District and Brown & Beyond beats. Rhea is a junior from New York studying Biomedical Engineering and loves dark chocolate and penguins.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Brown Daily Herald, Inc.