Plans for the Walgreen Drama Center that will house the Arthur Miller Theatre a major project initiated by former University President Lee Bollinger have been revised by University officials to better assess the University”s needs.
New revisions will add an additional $42 million to the cost of the project, which is already well behind its original schedule.
According to a statement given by the University Board of Regents in May 2000, the construction was planned to be finished this year, but construction has yet to begin.
Robert Kasdin, executive vice president and chief financial officer for the University, said the project is still in the initial planning stages.
“We haven”t spent a penny on construction,” he said. “We are now thinking through what the next steps should be. Right now the president and provost are beginning to reconsider several options.”
The regent-approved project initially planned for the Walgreen Drama Center to consist of the 600-seat Arthur Miller Theatre and several smaller reparatory theatres.
The current proposal for the center requires it to hold the Trueblood Theatre, Arena Theatre and part of the University”s Theatre Department as well as the Arthur Miller Theatre, which has been reduced to only 450 seats, Kasdin said.
“The Arthur Miller Theatre was originally thought of as a black-box theater. In the course of design two changes were made,” Kasdin said.
“One change was a desire to move the drama department out of the Frieze Building and into both the Walgreen Center and into the (Undergraduate Science Instruction Center) building. The second change was a decision to include both the Trueblood Theatre and the Arena in the Walgreen Drama Center building.”
The additions to the drama center have raised the cost from $18 million to $60 million, Kasdin said.
While the University does not currently have the additional funding, it is attempting to raise money from donors.
“There is a sense that the University will continue to seek support from donors,” he said. “Before a shovel goes in the ground we have to have the funds.”
Until the University has the appropriate amount of funds, construction will not begin, he added.