Brooklyn Academy of Music to expand
The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) has announced plans to embark on a a $300 million expansion project to be designed by New York architect H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture with theatre consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander. Plans call for a new 263-seat flexible theatre with three or four screening rooms, a large rehearsal space, classrooms, offices and a green roof. The project is being undertaken to expand BAM’s offerings to the community and bring its programming into the 21st Century.
The new theatre will be housed in the former Salvation Army building next to the Academy, which will be renovated and expanded, combining portions of an original 1928 red-brick building with a new six-storey structure constructed to the rear. It will be named for Richard B. Fisher, a former chairman of the Academy’s trust, whose widow Jeanne Donovan Fisher has contributed $10 million for the project. The city has also kicked in $22.5 million. Karen Hopkins, the president of the Academy, told the New York Times that to date more than half of the money for the project - $160 million – has been raised.
The project is welcome news for art institutions everywhere and for the Fort Green neighborhood in Brooklyn where BAM is an important anchor. Ms. Hopkins told the Times that BAM is one the Borough’s leading employers. The new project is expected to create jobs for 125 construction workers and more than 800 tradesman.
Construction is slated to begin in the fall with completion anticipated in 2012.