Concord, MA – C.E. Floyd Company recently attended the ribbon cutting and open house for The UMBRELLA’s newly renovated and expanded community arts building.
The 58,000sf project included a new 350-seat main stage theater; 100-seat black box theater; set design shop, green room and theater support space; two additional classrooms and a maker space; renovated pottery wing with fully vented and code-compliant kilns; and redesigned main entrance.
The UMBRELLA’s 1928 building was poorly suited for the growth of the community and its modern educational and program offerings. The heating system was antiquated and inefficient. There was no operating ventilation system making the building incredibly hot in the summer and cold in the winter. The plumbing had far exceeded its useful life expectancy and hazardous building materials needed to be removed. Accessibility was an issue throughout the building but especially at the front entrance.
With help from OMR Architects, Mekal Consulting and C.E. Floyd Company, the historic 1928 building now naturally flows into the new wing to create a coherent, easy-to-navigate arts center with a nearly 20% increase in usable space.
Larger, better lit exhibition spaces make way for higher quality exhibitions and larger audiences. Performances, once limited by the cramped and outdated stage, will be enhanced by updated sound and lighting and larger sets.
The UMBRELLA will be able to diversify its programming for all constituents. The transformed space will attract better quality teachers and performers and allow for greater diversity in the educational offerings and integration of the subject areas.
Executive Director Jerry Wedge emphasized that it is exciting to be “strengthening awareness and engagement for the arts” when there has been such a strong focus on STEM.
Wedge emphasized the importance of the design and construction team on the building project, “Our building committee hired a truly innovative architect and a construction company deeply rooted in the community and committed to our project.”
The UMBRELLA is one of three projects C.E. Floyd has completed in Concord this year. C.E. Floyd completed a similar project at Middlesex School – a 55,000sf theater and visual arts center with CBT Architects and Commercial Construction Consulting – and a dormitory expansion at Concord Academy with DSK Architects & Planners.