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Bergendoff re-creation? Accelerando!

Bergendoff renovation

Construction continues on the Hamann Concert Hall (what used to be the Potter Theatre "backstage").

Augustana Magazine — Fall 2021

Not only has the re-creation of Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts begun, one feature is already completed. The new music education suite and a dedicated classroom for music education — part of Phase 1 — is being used by Augustana students and faculty this semester.

"We’re already realizing some of the advantages the renovation provides."

– Dr. Michael Zemek, music education coordinator

“From having direct access to materials and instruments to breaking out into the different areas of the music ed suite for group work, we’re already realizing some of the advantages the renovation provides,” said Dr. Michael Zemek, professor and coordinator of music education.

“We’re especially looking forward to having elementary music education methods taught in this space where the table and chairs can be quickly stored away to create space for movement and music-making activities."

In addition to improved access and flexibility, the renovation’s technology upgrades will be put to good use as Augustana’s future music educators prepare for teaching in today’s K-12 classrooms, Dr. Zemek said.

Also included in Phase 1 is the transformation of the Potter Theatre “backstage” into the Hamann Concert Hall, named in honor of a gift from Julie Hamann ’82 Elliott. The 2½ stories of vertical space will allow the college to have an intimate and elegant recital space first envisioned by Dr. Jon Hurty, director of choral activities.

Potter Theatre itself is being reinvented to house rehearsal space and two new classrooms. These projects are scheduled for completion in January.

This re-creation of Bergendoff Hall will be done in three phases. Phase 2 will begin next summer. The total cost is estimated at $12-$13 million.

“The multi-year project will ultimately renovate the entire building from ceiling to windows to mechanical systems, and create the types of spaces our students deserve,” said Kent Barnds, vice president of external relations.