The University Record, July 9, 2001

Facts about planned renovations, restoration of fabled hall

By Nelvia Van’t Hul
News and Information Services

Following are facts about the Hill Auditorium renovation project approved by Regents at their June meeting.


Renovations are scheduled to begin May 13, 2002, and will take approximately 18 months.


The project is expected to cost $33.5 million. Of that amount, $2.8 million is from donor contributions, and the remainder is being contributed from University sources.

Phased plan

This project is Phase One of the renovation. Additional improvements, including renovation of the stage, seating and backstage facilities, will be undertaken in Phase Two. The University will seek additional sources of funding for the second phase.


Phase One renovations include:

  • Site improvements around the facility, including reworking of brick paving and stone retaining wall areas; restoration of south entrance plaza; reworking of the west barrier-free ramp and loading dock; and landscaping and “period” lighting.

  • Exterior repairs, including brick cleaning and some tuck pointing; door and window replacement or refurbishing; partial roofing and bird screen replacement; repair of terra cotta and limestone exterior wall components; cleaning and restoration of existing metal grilles, lettering and windows; and removal of vegetation.

  • Auditorium renovation/restoration work, including demolition of lower-level spaces to ready the area for future improvements; construction of additional restrooms; improving barrier-free circulation by providing elevators and an addition with ramps; replacement of main-level seating; creation of barrier-free seating and stage access; replacement of theatrical performance and audio-visual systems; replacement of mechanical and electrical infrastructure systems for heating, ventilation and air conditioning; addition of fire suppression and fire alarm systems; replacement of power, lighting and communications systems; and addressing code issues.

  • Additions to the auditorium, consisting of backstage lower-level basement and tunnel space for mechanical and electrical equipment with distribution components; a new utility tunnel below the plaza and relocation of main utilities along the south wall; new circulation ramps; and a new loading dock.


    As a result of barrier-free seating arrangements and other alterations to increase audience comfort, the seating capacity will be reduced from 4,200 to 3,650. The number of toilets will increase from 24 to 41.