Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts is housed in what was originally the Annapolis High School building, built in the early 1930’s. The multi-disciplinary Arts Center has occupied the building for over 20 years with an arts education program serving 5,000 students, four art gallery spaces, and a performing arts program that includes the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, The Annapolis Charola/Live Arts Maryland, the Ballet Theater of Maryland, the Annapolis Opera, as well as their own series of presentations. More than 100,000 patrons use the building each year. The original building is under an interior and exterior easement with the Maryland Historic Trust.
In a preliminary design effort we worked collaboratively and efficiently with key representatives of Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and Board of Trustees to better define the scope and aspirations of the project in order to prepare a general cost budget that informed an approach to capital improvements. Ziger/Snead in conjunction with Robert Long of Theater Consultants Collaborative defined a space program, formulated a project vision with preliminary spatial configurations and overall aesthetic goals, and established a phased project scope with corresponding budget parameters. The existing Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing systems were evaluating to determing the condition and suitability to meet the needs of the planned renovations. The team worked closely with Maryland Historic Trust to gain concept approval.
The first phase of renovations target the main theater and provide: new exterior windows and shutters, new Orchestra recess and shell, stage extension, new stage risers, new auditorium rake and parterres, new theater seating and floor finishes, additional performance lighting, upgrades to the fire alarm system, and all new finishes. Subsequent phases will include the conversion of a former gymnasium for use as a new community theater; additions to the historic building to provide much needed fly space, stage support, lobby space for the new theater, vertical circulation, additional dressing rooms and cafe; and a new courtyard is designed for outdoor performances.
The complete capital plan was developed for all proposed projects through Design Development with full Construction Documents to be developed for each phase. The first phase of renovations completed construction in September, 2014.