Huge score for DePaul
NO DISSENT | City planners OK new music, theater schools in Lincoln Park
DePaul University’s schools of theater and music would finally have the world-class facilities to match their top-notch talent, thanks to a 10-year master plan for the Lincoln Park campus approved Thursday.
Without a word of dissent, the Chicago Plan Commission signed off on DePaul’s ambitious plan to build new schools for theater and music, a new academic center, and to redevelop Fullerton Avenue with a hotel, student housing and market-rate housing.
The project — with a price tag in the hundreds of millions of dollars — calls for closing Kenmore Avenue to vehicles between Fullerton and Belden to improve student safety, add landscaping and create a greater “campus feel.” Spectator stands, new dugouts and press box facilities also are planned for Wish Field.
“Those two schools have some of the finest faculty in the world and some of the finest students in the country. And they’re literally performing in spaces with dropped ceilings and walls that bleed sound,” said the Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, DePaul’s president.
“It’s not where you learn how to play an instrument. It’s not where you learn how to sing. We need a space where musicians [and actors] can be properly trained.”
The new music school won’t come soon enough for clarinet performance major Philip Espe. But it’s still a dream come true.
“I walk into the practice rooms at 10 a.m. any morning. There’s no place for me to practice. I’m sometimes in rehearsal for six hours a day, and there’s no space. It’s incredibly small. The practice rooms are not acoustically sound,” Espe said.
Holtschneider assured the Plan Commission that there would be no influx of students at the already-cramped Lincoln Park campus….