Lancaster Country Day Breaks Ground on New Theater

CENTERBROOK, Conn. – Pennsylvania’s Lancaster Country Day School recently broke ground on the new 580-seat Gardner Theatre, designed by Centerbrook Architects & Planners in collaboration with Murray Associates Architects.

Sept. 17 groundbreaking ceremonies, photos courtesy of Murray Associates

Sept. 17 groundbreaking ceremonies, photos courtesy of Murray Associates

The Gardner Theater will be the new home of Country Day’s performing arts and will be open to community partnerships. The 16,000-square-foot theater will have an orchestra pit, state of the art lighting and acoustics, and fly space. With a full-sized stage and professional theater fittings, the $13 million facility will be able to host school musical and theatrical performances as well as special assemblies, graduation, and presentations. Designed with safety in mind, it will let students handle all parts of theatrical productions.

“This is a large theater that will still feel intimate when smaller groups use it, making it more valuable to the school as a place that gets used daily rather than just on special occasions,” said Centerbrook Principal Mark Simon, FAIA.

Centerbrook is the design architect with Murray Associates the architect of record and Nextstage Design the theater design consultant. Wohlsen Construction is the construction manager with Acentech handling audiovisual and acoustics. H.F. Lenz Company (MEP/FP), WBCM (structural), and David Miller/Associates (civil) serve as the engineers. The project is anticipated to be complete in time for the 2020-21 academic year.

The Gardner Theater is the second project that Centerbrook has designed with Murray Associates for Country Day. The 31,000-square-foot Physical Education & Athletics Center opened in the fall of 2017. Aspects of the Athletics Center were designed with the future Gardner Theatre in mind, and the two will share a lobby and other public facilities.

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