Music Department to move across Park Blocks

The Department of Music at Portland State is preparing to move out of its current home, the soon-to-be-renovated Lincoln Hall, after summer term 2008.

The Department of Music at Portland State is preparing to move out of its current home, the soon-to-be-renovated Lincoln Hall, after summer term 2008.

The department is slated to move to the Extended Studies Building, located across the Park Blocks from Lincoln Hall on the corner of Southwest Mill Street and Park Avenue, said Charlene Lindsay, project manager for the Lincoln Hall renovation.

Specific details are still being determined, Lindsay said, but that music students can anticipate a smooth transition.

“We’re rapidly working to coordinate the move-out of current Lincoln departments, in addition to the move-outs of departments being displaced by Lincoln tenants,” she said. “It’s a bit of a scramble now, but we’ll facilitate the transition with as little interference to the education process as possible.”

Constructed in 1911, Lincoln Hall is the oldest building on campus. A full-scale upgrade to its interior design, heating and ventilation systems and seismic reinforcement, in addition to asbestos removal is underway. This will cause the facility to go off-line when the $29.2 million project gets underway this summer.

The Lincoln Hall renovation is expected to be finished sometime in 2010, according to Lindsay. Despite the uncertainty about their location during the renovation, she said, most of the staff members who are being shuffled understand that their new homes are only a quick fix during the renovation, not a permanent relocation.

“It’s a temporary situation and I think the people moving in and out are aware it’s temporary,” she said. “Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of readily available real estate in downtown Portland.”

Lindsay said that theater and musical equipment stored in Lincoln Hall does not have a specified location yet for storage during the renovation. She said storage space will either be assigned on campus or else stored off-campus before the construction begins.

Joel Bluestone, assistant chair and graduate coordinator for the music department, said he is preparing for the move now, and that he has been told to anticipate reduced space at Extended Studies Building. He said there will be a reduction in dedicated practice studios–from 11 at Lincoln Hall to seven at the new building–but that the return to Lincoln Hall will include an upgrade to faculty offices, a new percussion studio and better sound-proofing throughout the building.

“It’s just growing pains that we’re experiencing for now, and that’s to be expected when you have a large music program at a large university,” Bluestone said.

Aside from the music department, Lincoln Hall also houses the Portland State School of Fine and Performing Arts, the Department of Theater Arts and the Opera Theater.

Lindsay said the future locations of departments housed in the Extended Studies Building, such as Finance and Administration, the Budget Office and the Dean of Extended Studies Office, are currently in limbo. She said contracts and leases for their new locations are not yet formally adopted, and that confidentiality restricts her from offering any more information for now.